Murry Gunty’s Black Bear Sports Group Acquires 12th Ice Arena

Murry Gunty's Black Bear Sports Group Acquires 12th Ice Arena

“Many talented hockey players and skaters call the Arena their home ice and we are excited for continued expansion in New Jersey"  – Murry Gunty

RANDOLPH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)

An affiliate of Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. (“Black Bear” or the “Company”) has acquired Aspen Ice Arena in Randolph, NJ (the “Arena”). The Arena houses two NHL-size ice sheets, an exercise studio and is home to the New Jersey Freeze Youth Hockey Club, Delbarton School Green Wave, Randolph Rams High School and various other local high school and recreational hockey programs. Black Bear was founded by Murry Gunty in 2015.

​“Aspen Ice is a first-class facility and will be one of the premier rinks in our portfolio,” said Murry Gunty, CEO of Black Bear. “Many talented hockey players and skaters call the Arena their home ice and we are excited for continued expansion in New Jersey—one of the top hockey states in the country. Through our network of coaches and junior hockey teams, we offer players in our ice rinks a unique opportunity to advance from youth hockey to junior hockey and into college and beyond.”

Aspen Ice is the third acquisition for Black Bear in New Jersey. Black Bear also owns and operates Ice Land Skating Center in Hamilton, NJ, home of the Mercer Chiefs, and Jersey Shore Ice Arena in Wall, NJ, home of the Jersey Shore Wildcats.

“New Jersey is a hockey state,” said Ryan Scott, Vice President of Black Bear. “We are excited to bring our industry knowledge and hockey network to northern New Jersey. Youth hockey continues to expand in the area and the Arena is a proud partner of the New Jersey Devils’ Learn to Play program.”

About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc.
Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean and professionally managed and offer world-class recreational offerings. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, markets with a National Hockey League club presence and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. ​Black Bear has the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas, but also to turn around under-managed or under-performing facilities. Black Bear currently owns and operates twelve arenas across the United States with a total of 22 sheets of indoor ice, two indoor turf fields, two youth hockey clubs and junior hockey franchises in the United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League.

Blackstreet Capital Holdings has acquired homebrewing supply retailer Northern Brewer from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ZX Ventures

Blackstreet Capital Holdings has acquired homebrewing supply retailer Northern Brewer from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ZX Ventures

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s innovation and growth division, ZX Ventures, has sold Minnesota-based homebrew supply retailer Northern Brewer to Blackstreet Capital Holdings LLC.

Financial terms of the transaction, which was announced in mid-July, were not disclosed.

“Since our investment in 2016 we’ve helped Northern Brewer make homebrewing easier and more accessible across the U.S.,” a ZX Ventures spokesperson told Brewbound via email. “We decided to sell Northern Brewer to Blackstreet Capital Holdings and wish them success in their new partnership to serve the homebrewing community for years to come.”

Blackstreet Capital Holdings, a Maryland-based holding company, is run by Murry Gunty, a self-described “investment professional” with 27 years of experience.

According to Gunty’s personal website, his Blackstreet Capital Holdings “rescues small- to mid-sized distressed companies.” The company’s website also states that it is not a private equity fund, but “a permanent holding company that seeks investments in debt and equity of lower middle market businesses or corporate orphans that are in out-of-favor industries or are undergoing some form of transition.”

In a press release announcing the sale, Gunty said the transaction returns Northern Brewer “to its roots as an independent supplier of high-quality kits, ingredients, and equipment.”

“We are excited to partner with Northern Brewer and to continue its tradition of serving the craft beer industry since 1993,” he added.

Northern Brewer operates brick-and-mortar stores in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Milwaukee. The company also runs a robust e-commerce business, selling ingredients and equipment homebrewers.

Kevin Kuby, Blackstreet Capital Holdings’ executive vice president, will serve as interim CEO of Northern Brewer.

Southpoint’s former Iceoplex building renamed, plans for new restaurant announced

 

Nov. 3, 2017 – With the help of Murry Gunty from Blackstreet Capital, Southpointe’s legacy sports complex has been officially renamed Printscape Arena at Southpointe.  

The 22-year-old arena will operate 365 days a year and continue to provide world-class facilities for hockey teams of all ages, as well as soccer, volleyball, lacrosse and other sports.

Homegrown businesses took advantage to associate with such a “unique opportunity.”  Printscape Imaging and Graphics, a local print shop that specialized in branding solutions for companies, signed a multi-year agreement for the rights to the name.  Co-owners Bubba Snider and U.S. Navy retiree Ed Kelly will be opening Bubba’s Gourmet Burgers, another locally owned and sourced business.

Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital own multiple arenas around the country and collectively draw 4 million and 5 million a year.

Western Capital Resources, Inc. Announces Sale of AlphaGraphics, Inc.

Oct. 3, 2017 – Western Capital Resources entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with MBE on October 3, 2017, pursuant to which the Company agreed to sell all of the capital stock in AlphaGraphics, the sole business comprising the Company’s franchise segment, for an aggregate purchase price of $61,500,000 (subject to adjustment), less approximately $1,185,600 in payments to AlphaGraphics to satisfy obligations to its other security holders.

AlphaGraphics has been owned or controlled by Blackstreet Capital Partners II, LLC (“Blackstreet” or “Blackstreet Capital”) and its affiliates since January 2012, when Blackstreet purchased AlphaGraphics out of a U.K. bankruptcy sale, and later contributed AlphaGraphics to the Company.  Under Blackstreet’s control, AlphaGraphics was able to stabilize and grow its franchise base as well as substantially grow its earnings.  Blackstreet is a private investment firm and registered investment adviser based in Chevy Chase, MD, and founded by Murry Gunty.  “We have enjoyed our relationship with AlphaGraphics and its franchisees over the years,” said Murry Gunty, Blackstreet founder and CEO.  “We believe they are in very capable hands with MBE, which is positioned to do great things with the business going forward.”

Western Capital Resources, Inc. (WCE) is a publicly traded company based in Omaha, Nebraska.  They are focused on growing through the acquisition of established lower middle-market businesses with up to $100 million in sales.  WCE are industry agnostic, and target leaders in niche industries or geographies, as well as opportunistic purchases of businesses that we believe can be improved operationally.  They have a particular interest in situations involving businesses facing succession dilemmas, corporate divestitures, and businesses in out-of-favor industries.  Our strategy is to build a diversified portfolio of businesses that generate strong operating cash flow.

Blackstreet Capital Holdings and Affiliates Purchase Fifth and Sixth Ice Arenas

BCH affiliate purchases two ice rinks in Chicago suburbs

August 15, 2017 – Led by President Murry Gunty, Piney Ice Holdings, Inc., (“Piney”) an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC (“BCH”) and Ice Rink Holdings, LLC, has acquired the American Heartland Arena in Lincolnwood, IL, and Center Ice of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL.  Managed by Ice Rink Performance Group, the arenas will provide the suburbs of Chicago three high performance facilities for recreation, world-class training, and affordable family entertainment.  “Chicago is passionate about ice hockey and figure skating and we’re thrilled to be able to provide quality rinks and services to the community,” said Gunty.

With Piney already operating six arenas throughout the United States it looks to invest in properties they can transition into high quality entertainment and youth sports facilities.  BCH works to find solutions for a range of middle market businesses or corporate orphans that are struggling or seeking to restructure.  “We are focused on helping the underlying business stabilize and grow over the long-term,” said Gunty.   

Blackstreet Capital Holdings Invests in Auto Cash of Georgia

murry-gunty

Gunty, BCH affiliate makes loan to title lender

December 22, 2016 – Auto Cash Financing, Inc., has entered into a loan agreement with Auto Cash of Georgia. They are an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings (BCH), led by CEO Murry Gunty. Auto Cash of Georgia has 8 retail locations and is the leading title lender in the Atlanta area.

“This is an opportunity to work with a very well-managed company in the title lender industry,” said Murry Gunty, CEO of BCH. “We are looking to actively invest in title lenders. We know other consumer finance businesses as banks and traditional financial sources increasingly exit the industry. Our management team has deep experience in this industry and we are looking for opportunities to expand our exposure to these types of businesses both as lenders and owners.”

“Our partnership with BCH will allow Auto Cash to expand operations,” said Auto Cash CEO Judson Browne. “We are pleased to have engaged partners with BCH’s level of expertise and a strong commitment to our business.”

BCH is a diversified holding company that seeks investments in debt and equity of companies. These are either underperforming, in out-of-favor industries or are undergoing some form of transition. BCH invests in a range of industries including education, manufacturing, sports and entertainment, distribution, ecommerce, technology, and franchising.

About Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC

Blackstreet Capital is a Chevy Chase, MD based diversified holding company run by Murry Gunty and Lawrence Berger. BCH currently has equity and debt holdings in education, consumer finance, and sports and enterainment.

Blackstreet backed DAI acquires TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies

Murry Gunty

Gunty to revive TravelSmith

March 25, 2017 – Distinctive Apparel Inc, which is backed by Blackstreet Capital Management, has bought the assets of catalog and internet retailers TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies. The seller was Cornerstone Brands, a Home Shopping Network unit. Murry Gunty leads Blackstreet Capital Management.

DAI, headquartered in Randolph, Massachusetts, owns leading apparel brands including Chadwicks of Boston, Metrostyle and Territory Ahead all of which sell direct to consumers through the Internet and catalogues. “We are thrilled to acquire these two well-known brands,” said Aldus Chapin, CEO of DAI. “We look forward to reinvigorating TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies and bringing unique and exciting products to their loyal customers.”

“The veteran DAI management team, led by Aldus Chapin, has deep experience successfully purchasing great apparel brands and there is no better team to revive and grow TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies,” said Murry Gunty, BCM Managing Partner. “These brands will enhance DAI’s portfolio by adding a premier travel brand and a leading children’s apparel and costume brand to already strong and well known men’s and women’s apparel brands that they currently own.”

About Blackstreet Capital
Blackstreet Capital is a Chevy Chase, Maryland-based private equity firm. Blackstreet Capital focuses on investments in under-performing orphans with up to $150 million of revenue primarily located in the eastern half of the United States. To date, Blackstreet Capital has invested in 30 companies with combined sales in excess of $1.5 billion with over 8,000 employees.

New ownership for Piney Orchard Ice Arena

Murry_Gunty

Gunty plans expansion for Piney Orchard

February 10, 2017 – The Piney Orchard Ice Arena has been bought and the new owners plan to upgrade it and expand the ice hockey programs.

Piney Ice LLC, an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings LLC, and Bob Weiss, operator of the Rockville Ice Rink, acquired nearly all of the assets of the facility. Located in Odenton, the Piney Orchard Ice Arena was once the practice facility for the Washington Capitals. The year round indoor ice arena is home to many youth hockey and figure skating clubs. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“It’s really exciting to see some money invested in a facility that provides an outlet for our kids,” said Claire Louder, head of the West County Chamber of Commerce. “We have so few recreational opportunities in this area.”

The new plan for the arena includes expanded ice hockey programs for all ages, deeper relationships with local high schools and “an improved cornerstone for our community,” officials said.

This partnership “will enable Piney Orchard to upgrade the facility and continue to reliably serve the growing hockey and figure skating communities of the Washington, DC metro area,” Weiss said in a statement. “With BCH’s commitment, we look forward to turning Piney Orchard into one of the leading ice rinks in the USA.”

Built in 1991, the 42,375-square-foot rink was billed as the jewel of the Piney Orchard housing development. The Piney Orchard Master Partnership owned it until 1996, when it was sold to U.S. Ice Forums LLC for an undisclosed price, according to The Capital archives. The facility changed hands later that year when Trizec Ice Inc. took over U.S. Ice Forums.

With the recent changes, Weiss will assume management of the Piney Orchard rink. He and his family run the three-sheet Rockville ice arena and the hockey program Team Maryland.

“We’re excited to facilitate the growth of ice skating sports in this region,” Murry Gunty, CEO of BCH, said in a statement.

Seven Bridges Signs Long Term Deal With Team Illinois

Murry-Gunty

Blackstreet and Gunty’s latest acquisition

January 8, 2017 – Seven Bridges Acquisition has signed a long term ice rental agreement with the Tier 1 AAA Hockey Organization, Team Illinois. This will make Seven Brides Ice Arena their home rink for the elite hockey club. Seven Bridges Acquisition is an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings. BCH is led by Murry Gunty, Chief Executive Officer, and Lawrence Berger, Chief Investment Officer

Seven Bridges Ice Arena is a year-round indoor two-sheet ice arena. It is home to numerous youth hockey and figure skating clubs. The Facility also contains a popular turf field used for indoor soccer and the Blue Line Bar and Grill restaurant. This also contains an off-ice workout area and locker rooms dedicated for its Tier 1 and High School hockey teams. The Company purchased the debt of the Facility months ago and recently completed a successful foreclosure on the property.

“We are thrilled to be moving to Seven Bridges Ice Arena starting with the 2017 hockey season,“ said Larry Pedrie, Team Illinois Director of Hockey. “The Facility will allow us to grow our program and provide the best Tier 1 hockey experience in the Chicago area for our families. We are thrilled to be partnering with Seven Bridges over the long term.”

“We’re honored that Team Illinois chose to make Seven Bridges their partner,” said Murry Gunty, CEO of BCH. “We look forward to turning the Facility into a true home for Team Illinois’ players, coaches and families. We are excited to finally have an anchor tenant who is looking for a long term partnership. This will enable us to return the Facility to its place as the best venue in the Chicago area.”

About Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC

Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC is a Chevy Chase, MD based diversified holding company run by Murry Gunty and Lawrence Berger. BCH currently has equity and debt holdings in education, consumer finance, and sports and entertainment. Gunty and Berger have deep experience buying companies that are either underperforming, in out-of-favor industries or are undergoing some form of transition. BCH seeks investments in a range of industries, including education, manufacturing, sports and entertainment, distribution, ecommerce, and franchising.

About Team Illinois

Team Illinois is the most respected Tier 1, AAA Hockey Organization in Illinois. Team Illinois participates in the most competitive AAA league in the United States. It is called the High Performance Hockey League. Is widely recognized as the most prestigious tournaments in North America.

Blackstreet Capital Holdings Invests in Second Maryland Ice Arena

murry gunty

Gunty and Blackstreet Rescue Abington, MD Rink

November 22, 2016- Ice World Maryland, an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings (“BCH”) and Bob Weiss, operator of the Rockville Ice Rink, has acquired substantially all of the assets of the Ice World Ice Arena. Ice World is a year-round indoor two-sheet ice arena that is home to numerous youth hockey and figure skating clubs. Ice World is the second ice arena purchased by an affiliate of BCH after the purchase of Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland, earlier this year. BCH is led by Murry Gunty, Chief Executive Officer, and Lawrence Berger, Chief Investment Officer.

“Our partnership with BCH will enable Ice World to upgrade the facility. We will also continue to reliably serve the growing hockey and figure skating communities of the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metro areas,” said Bob Weiss. “Just as we’ve done at Piney Orchard, we expect to make improvements to the facility and we look forward to turning Ice World into one of the leading ice rinks in the area. We plan to expand the ice hockey and figure skating programs that are offered for all ages. We are looking to build deeper relationships with local high schools. This will help build a cornerstone for our community where families can safely spend time and have fun together.” Mr. Weiss will assume management of the Ice World ice rink.

“We’re excited to facilitate the growth of ice skating sports in this region,” said Murry Gunty, CEO of BCH. “Bob Weiss and his family run the three-sheet Rockville ice arena, the premier ice rink in the Washington, DC area, and Team Maryland. Team Maryland is one of the best hockey programs in the country. Bob and his family have brought their expertise to Piney Orchard. We’ve already seen fantastic improvements in the facility and programming. We are thrilled to build our partnership with them further. This marks our second skating rink investment in the area and we look forward to expanding our interests in this industry.”

BCH is a holding company that seeks investments in debt and equity of companies that are in out-of-favor industries. Blackstreet seeks to invest in a range of industries including education, franchising, and sports and entertainment.

About Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC

Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC is a Chevy Chase, MD based diversified holding company run by Murry Gunty and Lawrence Berger. BCH currently has equity and debt holdings in education, consumer finance, and sports and entrainment. Gunty and Berger have deep experience buying companies that are underperforming. BCH seeks investments in a range of industries, including education, manufacturing, sports and entertainment, distribution, ecommerce, and franchising.