Russell Corp. has acquired approximately a 10-percent share of Marmot's
stock, John Cooley, of Marmot Mountain, Ltd., confirmed to SNEWSÂ®. With
the purchase, Russell joins Trinity Ventures -- the private investment
bank that acquired approximately 12 percent of Marmot stock the mid-90s
-- as the second institutional investor in employee-owned Marmot.
Despite published hints to the contrary in other news sources, Cooley
stated emphasized, "There are no options, no conditions, no future sale
of the company. It is a simply equity purchase, and it is done and the
check is deposited.
"Russell is not buying Marmot and we are not going into the sweatshirt business," added Cooley.
Jack Ward, Russell's chairman and CEO and the former president of
Hanes, joins the Marmot board, which is beginning to read like a Who's
Who in the investment and corporate business world.
According to Cooley, Russell (NYSE: RML) initially approached Marmot 12
years ago with the intention of purchasing the company. Marmot told
them "no," but Russell, like others before, came back, more interested
than ever in Marmot, a company that was profitable, posted over a
20-percent growth annually for more than a decade, and enjoyed strong
operating margins. With treasury stock available, and the resulting
dilution of employee stock minimal, Marmot agreed to allow Russell to
purchase stock for cash.
"With the cash from Russell, we now enjoy banking clout where we can
dictate what we want to do with our money instead of simply asking for
money," says Cooley. "It also allows us to invest very aggressively in
technology at a time when technology has never been more critical."
Marmot is currently distributed in more than 600 authorized dealers in
the United States and in 25 countries worldwide. Russell Corporation
brands include Russell Athletic, Jerzees, and Mossy Oak. Visit Russell
Corp at www.russellcorp.com.