Outdoor: Movin’ & Shakin’ – Blackstone could buy Jack Wolfskin; plus Hi-Tec, Primaloft, Adidas, REI, DPS...and more.

The latest people and company announcements in the outdoor industry: Blackstone could be buying Jack Wolfskin; Hi-Tec moves HQs; plus PrimaLoft, Adidas, DPS, REI, Backcountry.com ...and more.
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Blackstone eyes Jack Wolfskin acquisition

Private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP could be finalizing a deal to acquire German outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The publication quotes “two people familiar with the matter,” who said Blackstone will pay more than EUR 700 million ($990 million) to Barclays Private Equity Quadriga Capital, which currently own the outdoor apparel the brand popular in Europe and gaining ground in Asia.

Jack Wolfskin was said to be for sale in early 2011, with billionaire Guenter Herz and the Otto Group as the most interested parties. At one point, VF Corp. reportedly was also interested. But following strong earnings figures from Jack Wolfskin in the first quarter, Barclays and Quadriga took the brand off the market in May, reportedly to re-evaluate their options.

News of the deal with Blackstone is expected to be announced within the next few days, according to Dow Jones.

Manufacturers

  • Hi-Tec Sports (www.hi-tec.com) recently relocated both its global and U.S. headquarters. The now Holland-based company opened on May 31 its new global headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, after being in London, for 30 years. On June 16, it opened its new U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore., moving from Modesto, Calif.
  • Adidas (www.adidas.com) opened on June 10 its new headquarters building dubbed "Laces" at its World of Sports complex in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The building gained the name because of the way the interior hallways and walkways are exposed and criss-cross to look like shoelaces. Laces will house about 1,700 employees. The number of Adidas employees in Germany has nearly doubled in the last decade with 3,760 in the country, 3,000 of whom are in Herzogenaurach.

People

  • Backcountry.com (www.backcountry.com) has hired Young Lee as its vice president of product management. Lee will be in charge of understanding user needs and building easy-to-use products to meet them. He brings 13 years of retail e-commerce experience and “possesses an equal love for technology, analytics, e-commerce management and the outdoors,” the company said in a statement. Click here to read more.
  • PrimaLoft (www.primaloft.com) is strengthening its sales team in Eastern Europe and Russia with the addition of Bartosz Lassak to lead sales and marketing and manage the company’s brands and dealers in the territory. Lassak most recently founded and ran his own sales and marketing agency, which included Gore and Nokia as clients. Click here to read more.
  • Suunto (www.suunto.com) has hired David Grayson as its U.S. national sales manager for its North American subsidiary in Ogden, Utah. Grayson most recently served as national business manager for PowerBar and previously led sales teams at RockShox both in the United States and Europe.

Contracts

  • DPS Skis (www.dpsskis.com) in Salt Lake City has hired OutsidePR (www.outsidepr.com) in San Francisco as its agency of record. OutsidePR will work to generate brand awareness among the general outdoor and skiing community through public relations and social media. Click here to read more.
  • Ink (www.ink-la.com), a southern California-based integrated marketing agency, has been engaged by the Inside the Outdoors Foundation (www.ito.ocde.us) to create and manage a branding campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the non-profit organization. INK is donating its services.
  • Gregory Mountain Products (www.gregorypacks.com) has restructured and extended its sales team in Europe with a new distribution system of independent sales agencies, and additional agencies in Norway, Sweden and Italy.

Retail

  • REI (www.rei.com) announced plans to open next spring its first store in Indiana at the Plaza at Castleton in Indianapolis. The one-story store will cover approximately 23,800 square feet, including a bike shop and community space. It will employ about 50 people. Click here to read more.

Internet

  • Academy Sports + Outdoors launched its first e-commerce capable website at www.academy.com. The retailer has been aggressively growing in store counts – adding 26 stores during the past two years – for a total of 131 in 11 southeastern states.

--Compiled by David Clucas

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