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North Castle Partners Invests In Ignite USA, LLC

Partnering with CEO to Accelerate Growth of Innovative Developer and Marketer of Thermal Mugs and Hydration Bottles

GREENWICH, Conn. and CHICAGO, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- North Castle Partners and its co-investors announced today that they have completed an investment of growth capital in Ignite USA, LLC ("Ignite"), a leading developer and marketer of reusable, environmentally friendly thermal mugs and hydration bottles. North Castle is a leading private equity firm focused on investments in consumer-driven companies that promote Healthy, Active and Sustainable Living.  The terms of the investment, which is being made in partnership with CEO Sami El-Saden, were not disclosed.

Through its Contigo and Avex brands, Ignite has successfully created a diverse portfolio of innovative products that appeal to an extremely loyal and expanding consumer base.  Ignite has a strong global presence and currently sells its products in over 50 countries across club, mass, sporting goods, specialty, direct-to-consumer, and exclusive strategic partnerships.   

"North Castle's mission is to invest in companies that provide high quality, innovative products which promote healthy and sustainable living," said Alison Minter, a North Castle Managing Director.  "We intend to support the acceleration of Ignite's growth by leveraging our experience with innovation-driven product businesses, such as Cascade Sports and Octane Fitness, as well as companies with mass market distribution and channel expansion experience, including Atkins Nutritional, Enzymatic Therapy, Flatout Flatbread, Leiner Health Products, and Avalon Natural Brands. We are proud to welcome Sami and the Ignite team into the North Castle family."

"I am excited to partner with North Castle and to leverage North Castle's expertise and resources in building consumer product businesses and brands to take our company to its next level," said Sami El-Saden, CEO. "I was impressed by their knowledge of the industry, their values and commitment to partnership, and the expertise of their team in the areas of strategy and brand as we grow in both the mass and specialty markets."

"We are excited to partner with another impressive entrepreneur in the second investment from our NCP V fund.  We look forward to working with Sami and the Ignite team in building a global leader in two of the fastest growing segments of the housewares industry," said Chip Baird, North Castle's Managing Partner. 

About North Castle Partners
North Castle Partners is a leading private equity firm focused on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that promote Healthy, Active, and Sustainable Living.  North Castle is a hands-on, value-added investor in high-growth, middle market companies in the (i) beauty & personal care, (ii) consumer health, (iii) fitness, recreation & sports, (iv) home & leisure and (v) nutrition sectors, among others.  North Castle's current portfolio includes such well-known brands as Curves International, Palladio Beauty Group, Mineral Fusion, Red Door Spas, Performance Bicycles, World Health, Octane Fitness, Ibex Outdoor Clothing, and Flatout Flatbreads.  Prior portfolio company holdings include Atkins Nutritionals, Cascade Helmets, Bora-Bora Organic Foods, gloProfessional, Equinox Fitness, EAS, Enzymatic Therapy, CRC Health Group, Doctor's Dermatologic Formula, Naked Juice Company, and Avalon Organics / Alba Botanicals.  North Castle and its operating executives and advisors partner with management to bring a wide range of strategic and operational capabilities, as well as an extensive knowledge base and network to build world-class companies.  North Castle is headquartered in Greenwich, CT.  For more information, visit www.northcastlepartners.com.

About Ignite
Ignite, a company with a passion for great products, is a global leader and recognized innovator in two of the fastest growing segments of the housewares industry: reusable, environmentally friendly thermal mugs and hydration bottles.  Through its Contigo and Avex brands, Ignite has successfully created a diverse portfolio of innovative products that appeal to an extremely loyal and expanding consumer base.  Ignite has a strong global presence and currently sells its products in over 50 countries across club, mass, sporting goods, specialty,  direct-to-consumer, and exclusive strategic partnerships.  Ignite is headquartered in Chicago, Il.  For more information, visit www.gocontigo.com or www.avexsport.com.

Contact: Todd Fogarty, Kekst and Company, 212-521-4854, [email protected]

SOURCE North Castle Partners

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