New owners of Crazy Shirts close deal
By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
A group of local investors completed their purchase of Crazy Shirts yesterday, toasting one another at Kahala Chili's and pledging to maintain the culture of the kama'aina clothing manufacturer and retailer whose sale was arranged at a last-minute bankruptcy auction last month.
"It's one of the things that made Crazy Shirts so attractive," said Mark Hollander, new president of Crazy Shirts. "It was a great opportunity that came up almost out of nowhere for us. We are very excited to come in and help out a local icon."
Only The Best Inc., led by Ron Robertson, chairman of Hawai'i retailer Waikiki Trader Corp., assumed 40 stores and about 450 employees. Fewer than a dozen were not offered jobs with the new company, Hollander said.
Hollander, a former Waikiki Trader manager, is joined by another Waikiki Trader executive, Todd Taniguchi, who becomes Crazy Shirts' chief financial officer. Several directors of Waikiki Trader are on Crazy Shirts' new board, though the companies remain separate entities.
The new management team is assessing how Crazy Shirts operated to maintain the company's culture, Hollander said. No immediate changes are planned.
"We are in a learning phase," he said. "We want to make sure that we have the best understanding of all the different facets of the business before making any changes."
Creditors of the old Crazy Shirts were paid $6.75 million in cash plus $1.5 million for the company's Halawa headquarters. They will also receive at least $450,000 over two years, with more if sales exceed a certain mark.
Crazy Shirts' production plant in Tustin, Calif., was not part of the deal. Hollander said the new owners are considering many options for production.
Reach Andrew Gomes at 525-8065 or firstname.lastname@example.org