K2 CEO talks confidently of growth and acquisitions

There is little doubt that Richard Heckman intends to turn K2 into an industry giant by gobbling up other companies, perhaps yours. Heckman is not a man to wait and watch, and he has the talent and, apparently, pockets deep enough to get bullish quickly.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

There is little doubt that Richard Heckman intends to turn K2 into an industry giant by gobbling up other companies, perhaps yours. Heckman is not a man to wait and watch, and he has the talent and, apparently, pockets deep enough to get bullish quickly. The new CEO and chairman of K2 has made it clear that he intends to turn K2, a company that reported a $7.7 million loss on $595 million in sales last year, into a Fortune 500 powerhouse.

"There is not a major financial institution in this country that has not contacted me to offer us whatever we want," Heckman (59) told a gathering of journalists during a Jan. 28 early-morning question and answer session. "It is our intent to lead the consolidation that is going on in the sporting goods industry, and we have the financial wherewithal to complete any transaction at any time."

Heckman knows something about acquisitions. As the CEO of USFilter, he led the company through 260 acquisitions in just over five years, turning the filter company from a $17 million nobody into a $5.5 billion bully that could kick sand in the face of any competitor. Heckman sold that company to Vivendi, a French utility corporation, for $6.2 billion and pocketed $120 million for himself.

While Heckman likened K2's potential for influence and size to that of Nike in the course of his company overview, he quickly bristled when SNEWS sought clarification on that comment and, in the course of our question, apparently likened Nike's corporate structure a bit too closely to K2's.

"We are a company of brands and NOT a branded company. We bring authenticity to the brands that we own, and that is a huge difference between us and Nike," said Heckman.

Heckman said that K2's acquisition targets would focus only on those companies that fit within the current distribution model of the company and would serve to bolster the brands already owned by K2. When questioned, he noted that golf and tennis were not areas K2 was seeking to expand -- for now.

SNEWS noted that Dana Designs was the lone outdoor company in the K2 portfolio. We then asked Heckman if K2 was eyeing acquisitions in the outdoor marketplace that could be completed within the year that would serve to strengthen Dana and increase K2's influence in the market. His answer? "Yes!"

SNEWS View: While it is true that consolidation is going on in the outdoor, ski and sports marketplace, we think Heckman will have a bit more difficulty completing his growth model in this industry. Why? For starters, this is not exactly a growth market right now. Growing a filter company where you have one product for one purpose is one thing. Seeking the growth Heckman desires by combining numerous product categories that each represent a complete and utterly unrelated business, each with its own set of business patterns, unique products and unique selling requirements, will be quite the challenge. Of course, Heckman might know something we don't, and if so, we'll just sit back and marvel while he feeds and grows.

Related

De_Rocco_thumb_082511.jpg

New K2 CEO De Rocco talks rocker, growth, global strategy

The breaking news out of K2 Sports in Seattle on Aug. 22, 2011, was that Anthony De Rocco would be taking over as president and chief executive officer of the brand on Sept. 1, while current president and CEO Robert Marcovitch would assume the same role with The Coleman Company. ...read more

Black_Diamond_logo.gif

Black Diamond Inc. CEO talks acquisitions

After successfully raising more than $60 million in a secondary stock offering Thursday, Black Diamond Inc. CEO Peter Metcalf told SNEWS the company’s expansion plans are on track with at least one “meaningful acquisition” slated for 2012. “We’ve already indentified possible ...read more

K2 accepts Rodstein resignation, names new CEO

K2 Inc. (NYSE:KTO) today announced the resignation of Richard M. Rodstein, age 47, its president and chief executive officer. Richard J. Heckmann, age 58, chairman of the board of directors since April 2000, assumed the post of chief executive officer. Heckmann was the founder, ...read more

KickingHorse_thumb.jpg

WinterSports Q&A: Kicking Horse CEO Steve Paccagnan’s talks growth

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this season, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, British Columbia, seems well poised to be Canada’s next big mountain star. Even among a stellar list of deep north B.C. mega-mountain projects -- including Red Mountain, Revelstoke and Fernie, ...read more

NautilusLogo.jpg

Direct Focus CEO talks to SNEWS about changes, image, goals

Just a handful of years ago, Direct Focus wasn't much more than the company behind the direct-marketing phenomenon, Bowflex -- a shining jewel of which to be proud, for sure, with its profitable sales and savvy marketing, but one that put the company more on the fringes of the ...read more

CaseySheahanThumb.jpg

Patagonia CEO talks of transformation, retail and salmon jerky

For Casey Sheahan, CEO of Patagonia, the goal for companies to become more sustainable and socially responsible starts at the individual level. “For this, the leader is critical. If there isn’t an individual transportation, there can’t be a corporate transformation,” Sheahan ...read more

Red Wing CEO/President Talks to SNEWS About Vasque

On the heels of a major shift in leadership at Vasque with the departure of Connelly, Day, and Tackle, and after the resulting coverage of the turnover in SNEWS® -- click here to read SNEWS® was invited to fly to the Red Wing headquarters to sit down with company CEO and ...read more

QA_Ed-Schmults.jpg

Ed Schmults Q&A: Wild Things CEO talks customization

After years in the outdoor business — with a stint leading a company specializing in another kind of play, FAO Schwarz — Ed Schmults is now the CEO at Wild Things. The technical military and outdoor apparel firm recently launched a line of customizable apparel for men and ...read more

PowerPlate.jpg

Ex-Nautilus CEO Gregg Hammann named CEO of Power Plate as part of global growth strategy

As a part of its newly developed global growth strategy, Power Plate has named former Nautilus CEO Gregg Hammann as CEO to oversee operations across North America, Europe and other countries, SNEWS® has learned. The move by Power Plate majority owner, private equity firm JH ...read more