In the last weeks before German brand Jack Wolfskin was taken off the market, the company continued its marketing push, opening 11 new brand stores.
All of the stores – opened in the final negotiations stages with several interested suitors – swung open their doors in the first two weeks of April and are operated as franchises. That brings the number of Wolfskin-branded stores worldwide to more than 400 -- just 18 years after the first one was opened in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1993. The majority of stores are in Europe and Asia.
Not as if the brand’s sale faltered. Rather, the company’s’ owners, Quadriga/Barclays Private Equity, decided it needed to re-evaluate the sales price based on stronger-than-expected sales and earnings. Wolfskin pre-orders in February were allegedly 50 percent higher than anticipated, and 2010 full-year growth hit 21 percent (click here for that Feb. 14, 2011, SNEWS® story).
None of the groups interested in acquiring Wolfskin allegedly offered more than EUR 800 million (USD $1.16 million). Although VF Corp., parent to The North Face and JanSport, was rumored to be in the hunt, the top two seemed to be two larger German firms, including billionaire Guenter Herz, heir to the Tchibo coffee chain with an estimated fortune of EUR 4 billion (estimated USD $5.6 billion); and the Otto Group, 61-year-old family-run business with reported revenues of Euro 10.1 billion in 2010 (estimated USD $14.1 billion). Click here to see March 9, 2011, SNEWS story about the hunt.
"The extremely dynamic business development has caused us to rethink the original valuation so we could take into consideration the current stand of Jack Wolfskin,” German news agencies had quoted owners of Quadriga und Barclays Private Equity as saying.
Even those jilted still hold onto hopes negotiations will begin anew. Said Otto Group Chairman Hans-Otto Schrader, in a statement to German media, "We would be open if we were approached again.”
--Therese Iknoian, with additional reporting by Ulrich Wittmann