Birkenstock USA completes ESOP buyout of former owner

Birkenstock Footprint Sandals is now 100 percent owned by its employees.

Birkenstock Footprint Sandals, the importer and distributor of Birkenstock footwear from Germany, is now 100 percent owned by its employees. Margot Fraser, who founded the company 35 years ago, began seeking a means to exit the company and provide for her employees back in 1993. She opted for an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and with the assistance of a board of trustees made up of Birkenstock employees, enabled the ESOP which acquired 10 percent of the business. In 1997, the ESOP acquired an additional 30 percent and in March of this year, the board put into action the plan to purchase all of Fraser's remaining shares.



Birkenstock to double its field service representative team

Though Birkenstock plans to stay true to its roots, the company known for sandals still wants to grow. It’s proving that by doubling its four-person field representative team to better cover the U.S., said Shelly Glasgow, Birkenstock’s director of product development and more

Mike Burns, majority owner of Backwoods, forced out

Mike Burns, a 64.5-percent shareholder and for 21 years the president of Backwoods, a Wichita, Kan.-based, retailer with eight stores, walked away from his job on Aug. 28 after signing the company over to its founder and 26-percent shareholder, Lewis Mull. A minority shareholder more


Helly Hansen fetching buyout bids

Private equity firm Altor is weighing five buyout bids for its controlling stake in Nordic outdoor apparel brand Helly Hansen, sources close to the situation have told SNEWS. The Sunday Times of London reported Jan. 22 that the bidding companies include VF Corp. and Puma. more

The Fitness Store former co-owner Frank Sanders talks about life after retail

The email we got here at SNEWS® got our attention with a subject line that read: "Requiem of an Old Fitness Equipment Dealer." How often does something like that come across your desk? So we gave Frank Sanders a call. If you remember, he and his brother Bill had sold their more

Nikwax USA owner Watershed offers fulfillment service

Watershed USA, the majority shareholder of Nikwax USA, the Everett, Wash.-based, distributor of Nikwax Waterproofing products to the North American market for the past 11 years, has decided to diversify and begin offering fulfillment and back-office support to interested outdoor more

Cloudveil acquired by Sport Brands International, owners of Fila

Cloudveil has been acquired by Sport Brands International (SBI), and becomes Cloudveil Mountain Works Inc., a division of SBI. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. SBI is privately held and is backed by U.S. investment fund Cerbrus Group. SBI owns both Fila and more

Did you hear?... Ellett Brothers closes the books on a buyout offer/merger

In a deal first announced last year at this time, Ellett Brothers -- a distributor of outdoor sporting goods products located in Chapin, South Carolina -- has finally closed the books on a buyout offer/merger between Ellett Brothers and another company owned by Robert D. Gorham more


Former Alabama Outdoors owner opens new Black Warrior Outdoor store

Three months after selling the Alabama Outdoors chain of stores to an investment group, Mark Gatewood has opened Black Warrior Outdoor, a new 7,000-square-foot shop in downtown Tuscaloosa, Ala., about half a mile from the campus of the University of Alabama. Financial more


Former Vibram USA CEO to debut new athletic footwear brand at Outdoor Retailer

You can’t hold back an entrepreneur. Just six months after stepping down as CEO of Vibram USA, Tony Post is ready to get back into the game with a new company of his own. The start-up footwear brand, Topo Athletic, will debut to retailers next month at Outdoor Retailer Winter more