Sportswear, equipment manufacturer torn out of bankruptcy in 1993 bought by industry giant K2

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Marmot Mountain Ltd., the Santa Rosa outdoor equipment maker acquired 11 years ago by its employees, has been acquired by sports equipment giant K2 Inc. for $ 84 million in cash and stock .

Marmot President and CEO Steve Crisafulli said on Thursday the company will remain in Santa Rosa and that he expects it to grow as Marmot sets out to develop new clothing lines for K2 and its subsidiaries.

“This is a great opportunity for Marmot workers. It means more responsibilities and opportunities,” he said. “Our company and our brand are very strong. We will just keep growing.”

The deal is the largest non-telecom buyout in Sonoma County since New York’s Bear Stearns Merchant Banking bought CamelBak from Petaluma, a water pack maker, for $ 210 million last year. .

Marmot employs 100 people in Santa Rosa and about 20 more in Europe and Asia. In Santa Rosa, Marmot has its offices, design team, marketing team, purchasing, warehouse and distribution center in the United States. It also has warehouses and distribution facilities in Canada and the Netherlands.

Marmot was founded in 1974 in Colorado and moved to Santa Rosa in 1991. When the company that owned Marmot, Odyssey International, went bankrupt, employees bought Marmot in 1993. The following year it made a profit. business of $ 12 million.

Since then, the company’s sales have quintupled and are expected to exceed $ 74 million this year.

Under the K2 buyout, the 45 employees who owned about half of the company will share $ 42 million in stock and cash. The other half of the company is owned by investors.

Marmot – which manufactures high-quality outdoor clothing and gear, including outdoor clothing, ski wear, tents, backpacks and sleeping bags – reported sales of $ 63 million. dollars in 2003. The company is renowned for its high-performance equipment in an industry that has thousands of small, specialty manufacturers and a few big players.

The products are made in Vietnam, Thailand, China and Bangladesh and are distributed in 34 countries.

K2 also signed acquisition deals this week with two other sports companies, Volkl Sports Holding AG of Germany and Marker Group of New Hampshire, for approximately $ 124 million in shares, cash and assumed debt. Volkl manufactures skis and Marker manufactures ski bindings.

Based in Carlsbad, K2 has acquired more than a dozen sporting goods companies since 2002, when Richard Heckmann took charge. The company achieved sales of over $ 700 million in 2003.

The company aims to become a larger player in the increasingly consolidated sporting goods retail market. It now includes 35 brands that offer products in snow sports, baseball, water sports, skating, hiking and fishing.

This acquisition will allow K2 to expand into the sale of sportswear. Crisafulli said K2 is buying Marmot’s clothing manufacturing know-how.

The transaction, which includes K2’s takeover of Marmot’s debt, is expected to be finalized by June 30.

K2 stock closed 36 cents higher at $ 15.46 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.


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