Supplier J. America, Inc. (PPAI 351699), headquartered in Fowlerville, Michigan, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Top of the World, LLC, a Norman, Oklahoma-based provider of licensed collegiate headwear in the U.S. The merger creates a single company, and is planned to close by the end of January.

Jeff Fenech, co-founder of J. America, will lead the new company’s Wholesale Blanks division, which supplies products under the J. America label to wholesale distributors and decorators across the country. Fenech has more than two decades of experience in this sector. He says, “We couldn’t be more excited about the merger. It will allow us to offer even more innovative products and designs to the market.”

The new company’s Licensed Division will be led by Scott Shuler, current president of Top of the World. The division will include the company’s licensed apparel and headwear operations. Schuler adds, “This merger allows a single company to better leverage our brand, secure additional product offerings, and deepen our supplier relationships.”

Chip Chaikin, partner at J. America parent company Blue Point Capital Partners, adds, “This merger is all about our customers and partners. As brand management becomes increasingly critical to licensed programs, this combination creates a company with industry-leading resources, experience and people. With a full range of products, broad distribution reach and a culture of flexibility, the new company can meet the needs of our customers, however they evolve.”

The combined business will include four distribution facilities across Michigan and Oklahoma; a design center in Columbus, Ohio; a sales office in North Carolina; and a Hong Kong-based sourcing office.