Outdoor retailer Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) has been sold to private equity firm Versa Capital Management, which says it intends to expand the chain.

The Peterborough, New Hampshire-based retailer operates 69 stores in 12 eastern states and employs around 1,500 people.

Mark Walsh, a Versa principal and chairman of apparel retailer Bob's Stores, which is also part of the Versa portfolio, will serve as chairman of EMS.

"With a new capital structure and the other resources that Versa can offer, EMS will have many new opportunities to develop its branded products and better serve its customers," explained Gregory Segall, CEO of Versa Capital.

According to Walsh, no major initiatives will be considered until the company finishes the holiday season.

Walsh also noted that plans call for exploring opportunities for Bob's Stores and EMS to collaborate, and for maintaining all of the current EMS stores.