COOLIBAR SECURES $1.5 MILLION IN NEW FINANCING
MINNEAPOLIS June 13, 2005 -- Coolibar Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of quality sun protective clothing, today announced it has secured $1.5 million in financing led by new investors LFE Capital and coinvestor AAVIN Equity Partners. In total, Coolibar has raised more than $3.5 million since its founding by Australian businessman John Barrow.
Since its introduction in 2001, Coolibar's specially designed clothing has provided a simple foundation for guaranteed protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UVA, UVB) rays.
"As awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers has increased, Coolibar has demonstrated its ability to execute and rapidly grow while maintaining its high standards for product quality and customer satisfaction," said Ron Leaf, Chief Investment Officer for LFE.
"With a strong, experienced management team, Coolibar is a leader in the market for sun protective clothing and is well-positioned for long-term growth," said Thies Kolln, Associate Partner for AAVIN.
Leaf and Kolln will join Coolibar's board of directors. At the same time, Donna Avery, formerly chief executive officer (CEO) of Rivertown Trading, will join Coolibar's board of directors. Avery brings significant direct marketing experience to Coolibar, having founded and grown the country's 50th largest catalog company with revenues of approximately $200 million. Rivertown was purchased by Dayton Hudson Corporation in 1998 and became Target Direct.
The LFE/AAVIN investment will fuel additional product development and sales and marketing activities to meet growing demand for Coolibar's sun protection products.
"With Coolibar's expanding base of satisfied customers and enthusiastic advocates, this investment will help our company strengthen its leadership position in this rapidly growing market," said Barrow, founder and President of Coolibar. "Seniors, baby boomers, parents and other sun-sensitive people are looking for more reliable sun protection. Like the Australians, Americans are quickly learning that specialized clothing is a simple and easy way to guarantee sun protection."
Clothing is a simple sun protection tool as it provides a physical block that doesn't wash or wear off and can shade the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Coolibar's clothing blocks 97% or more of UV rays, providing an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or greater, and offers more effective skin protection from sun damage than standard attire.
Demonstrating the company's ongoing commitment to quality, Coolibar continues to be the only company to receive The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation for sun protective clothing. The Skin Cancer Foundation is an independent non-profit organization dedicated solely to the prevention and detection of the world's most common cancer.
About Skin Cancer
More than 1.3 million people each year are diagnosed with skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States; in 2005, an estimated 10,000 people will die of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 80% of skin cancers could be prevented by adequately protecting skin from the sun's rays.
Coolibar was founded in 2001 to bring Australia's world-leading approaches to sun protection to the American market. The company has extensively redesigned Australian sun protective clothing styles to meet the tastes and needs of fashion- and health-conscious Americans. Coolibar's specially designed and treated clothing is a simple foundation for guaranteed protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.
For information about Coolibar, go to www.coolibar.com or call 1-800-926-6509.
About LFE Capital
LFE Capital, is a private equity management firm providing growth capital for smaller middle-market companies located primarily in the Midwest. The LFE team works closely with operating management on business strategy, resource planning, financial structuring, and transactions. A special focus of LFE Capital is businesses targeting female consumers, particularly in the health sector.
AAVIN, is a Mid America based private equity firm with investment capital of $47 million. Founded in 1999, AAVIN invests in high-growth opportunities, management buyouts and certain recapitalization transactions, primarily in the Mid-America region of the United States. AAVIN is a licensed Small Business Investment Company.