This is some wild financial stuff. Little old Black Diamond is going huge. Press release follows.
Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., a global leader in the climbing and freeride ski markets, today enters a transaction with Clarus Corporation to take the company public and simultaneously merge the operations of Gregory Mountain Products into a new operational platform.
“In my thirty years at the helm of Black Diamond, we have had an endless series of opportunities that we have capitalized on by moving confidently and boldly in the pursuit of our goals,” explains Peter Metcalf CEO of Black Diamond.
“In 2009/10, BD has managed double digit sales growth globally and is in excellent financial health. As we looked to the future, it was clear there remained only two primary challenges in our multi-decade pursuit of building a true built to last and autonomous company. They were the right, long-term capital structure as well a strong Board backstop for the CEO. So began a year long journey where we researched in a truly creative manner the myriad of possibilities that might achieve those two long term goals. The deal we are announcing today is as innovative and appropriate a structure as that created 21 years ago. It will insure that the golden years of Black Diamond are not behind us but clearly ahead.”
The structure of the agreement will have Clarus Corporation, a well financed, public company with no operations, concurrently acquire Black Diamond and Gregory Mountain Products and take both companies public naming the company Black Diamond Equipment. Warren Kanders will continue as Clarus Executive Chairman, Rob Schiller, Vice Chairman of Gregory will join the board as Executive Vice Chairman, Peter Metcalf, the Founder, President and CEO of Black Diamond, will become President and Chief Executive Officer and also serve as a Director of the Company. Robert Peay, Chief Financial Officer of Black Diamond, will become Chief Financial Officer of the Company.
Metcalf continues, “Speaking with Wayne Gregory and his team, we are excited by the complementary nature of our brands as well as the promise of the new business platform that will strengthen our company while keeping the brands discrete. We have each built very special, global companies and I would like to take this moment to sincerely thank all of the employees, friends, customers, vendors, and consumers that have helped us along the way. Over the last 30 years our mantra has been to build a beautiful and respected built to last company. With this deal, the last pieces of that global foundation are being put into place. We are excited for the bright future that lies ahead for the Black Diamond and Gregory brands.”
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. is an employee-owned manufacturer of equipment for rock climbing, alpinism and freeride skiing. With global operations based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Reinach, Switzerland and Zhuhai, China, Black Diamond’s passion for mountain sports is not only multi-dimensional, but also multi-national. By consistently building innovative, standard-setting products and actively preserving the mountain environment, Black Diamond has assumed a leadership role in the international outdoor community. For more information on Black Diamond visit www.BlackDiamondEquipment.com
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2007, Gregory Packs has been the longtime leader in expedition, backpacking and day packs. Gregory is world-renowned for setting durability, comfort and performance standard in backpacks.. Responsible for many industry firsts in backpacking fit and design, the Gregory research and design team, including company founder Wayne Gregory, continues to lead the way in backpack technology and performance.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.