Bergans of Norway Establishes Wholly Owned North American Subsidiary

Bergans of Norway, announces it has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Bergans USA LLC, to now handle all North American distribution.
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Bergans of Norway Establishes Wholly Owned North American Subsidiary

Industry veterans Patry Loomis and Keith Patterson to lead new company

LONGMONT, Colo. - January 9, 2012 - Premier European outfitter Bergans of Norway today announced it has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Bergans USA LLC, to serve the North American market. For the past ten years, an independently owned, Seattle-based distributor has assisted Bergans with U.S. sales.

Located in Longmont, Colo., Bergans USA will be led by longtime industry

executives Patry "Pat" Loomis as CEO, and Keith Patterson as vice president of sales and marketing. Loomis and Patterson last worked together introducing Deuter to the US market.

"Bergans is a leading brand in Scandinavia and has been growing for many years in numerous export markets, North America being one of them," said Ragnar Jensen, CEO of Bergans of Norway. "The time is right for us to expand out efforts in this market. Pat and Keith have strong track records successfully growing brands in North America and helping it resonate even when it's on the other side of the world."

Loomis, who has worked in the outdoor specialty market for more than 30 years, first helped establish and grow Lowe Alpine Systems as a major brand in Europe and Asia in the late '70s, '80s and '90s. He most recently led the introduction and growth of German-based Deuter to the U.S.

"I have always enjoyed the challenge of taking an authentic outdoor brand somewhere new and developing and mentoring a management team and staff to run a company as if it was their own," Loomis said. "My first objective is to renew our focus on dealer and customer service and then expand Bergans current product offerings."

"Norway is considered the cradle of skiing, is known for difficult year-round

climbing, hiking and camping conditions, and has a deep history of explorations into the harshest climates in the world" said Patterson, who has previously worked with outdoor brands Salewa/Dynafit North America, Deuter USA and Planetoutdoors.com. "With a long tradition of product innovation and materials and construction on par with the best in the industry, we are excited to continue the momentum Bergans has seen, and to grow our dealer and consumer base."

The new company, Bergans USA, will re-introduce a select range of packs, tents, and packable canoes in 2012, and launch its 2012/1013 backcountry and resort ski-clothing line at this months Outdoor Retailer and SIA trade shows.

Jon Bakken established and ran Bergans North America LLC as a distribution company for Bergans products in the US and Canada. In August 2011, Bakken agreed to sell his company to Bergans of Norway and pursue other interests.

For more information about Bergans of Norway and its products, go to www.bergans.com. For North American sales questions, contact Keith Patterson at keith.patterson@bergans.com.

About Bergans of Norway

Bergans was established in 1908, when Ole Ferdinand Bergan invented the first anatomical backpack. Today backpacks, sleeping bags, functional outdoor clothing and tents are part of the portfolio of Bergans of Norway, as well as the packable canoes named ALLY. Adventurers such as South Pole conqueror Roald Amundsen, Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary, and "Heroes" of our time such as Rune Gjeldnes or Cecilie Skog also travelled to the North and South Poles with Bergans equipment.

The headquarter of Bergans Fritid AS is situated in Hokksund, 60 km southwest of Oslo, where 90-plus employees work in development, research, design and sales. Bergans is a market leader in Norway and steadily growing in several export markets in Central Europe and North America (www.bergans.com)

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Chip Smith, o: 801.656.0472 x1, c: 801.597.7515, csmith@soarcomm.com

Beth Cochran, c: 406.579.7909, cochran@whatsuppr.com

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