Smoker Friendly Receives $51M Funding Boost to Grow Operations

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Smoker Friendly Receives $51M Funding Boost to Grow Operations

01/08/2021
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BOULDER, Colo. — Smoker Friendly is poised for more growth as its holding company, Bolder Panther Group LLC, completes a minority recapitalization and debt restructure with Main Street Capital Corp.

In the transaction, Main Street funded $51.7 million in a combination of first-lien, senior secured term debt and a direct preferred equity investment. Smoker Friendly continues to be owned and operated by the Gallagher family and led by the current management team.

Main Street is also providing the company with a revolving line of credit to support its working capital needs and has agreed to make a delayed draw term loan available to the company to assist with its acquisition growth strategy.

The Gallagher family founded Smoker Friendly in 1989, adding it to a portfolio that included Gasamat and a group of family-owned candy and tobacco wholesale distributors in the Rocky Mountain region and Midwest. The Gallagher family has wholly owned it since 2005.

"This new partnership will allow us to bolt on more businesses to our platform and continue to execute our acquisition strategy. The acquisitions this past year have been seamlessly integrated into the operation and we've added many terrific people to our team," said Smoker Friendly Chief Operating Officer Dan Gallagher.

In the past 14 months, Smoker Friendly acquired 33 Smoker's Outlet stores in Missouri, 22 Tobacco Road Outlet locations in North Carolina, and three Smoker Friendly dealer stores in North Carolina.

"I look forward to our partnership with Main Street Capital and believe it will be very beneficial to our company and strengthen Smoker Friendly, allowing the company to accelerate and execute acquisitions across the country," said Smoker Friendly CEO Terry Gallagher. "The strategic investment by Main Street will continue to fuel our growth and allow us to expand into new markets and grow in existing."

Boulder-based Smoker Friendly operates more than 160 retail stores across seven states that operate as tobacco stores, cigar lounges, liquor stores and fuel outlets. The company also owns a full line private-label tobacco brand that has an additional 700 stores that sell its branded product.