Bear Growth Capital adds to swimwear retailer

The small-market arm of Bear Stearns Merchant Banking will acquire swimsuit retailer Water Water Everywhere and will merge the store with another portfolio company.

Bear Growth Capital Partners, the small-market arm of Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, has announced it will acquire designer swimwear retailer Water Water Everywhere for an undisclosed amount.

The firm says it will merge the retailer with its portfolio company Everything But Water, the largest independent speciality retailer of women’s swimwear in the US. Bear acquired Everything But Water in April for an undisclosed amount.

Water Water Everywhere has 20 stores located primarily in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US. Everything But Water has 34 stores in 14 states and Puerto Rico. Upon completion of the deal, both chains will operate under the Everything But Water name.

Bear Growth Capital Partners managing director Joe Scharfenberger said although the Everything But Water acquisition wasn’t intended to be a platform portfolio company, the opportunity to acquire Water Water Everywhere, with a geographic market that does not overlap Everything But Water’s, was too good to pass up.

“I don’t know how may more acquisitions we’re going to do, maybe not any,” he said. “We want to open up new stores in locations where our partners are. We’re opportunistic with acquisitions, if something comes up we’ll take a look. But we’re not going to acquire more companies for no reason.”

Bear Growth Capital Partners focuses on middle market companies valued between $25 and $150 million. Since its inception in July 2003, BSMB has made investments in 51 portfolio companies.