Gregory Mountain Products acquired in management-led purchase

In a management-led buyout, Gregory Mountain Products, the outdoor industry leader in backpack technology for more than 30 years, was purchased this week in a cash deal. Terms were not disclosed.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 26, 2008) – In a management-led buyout, Gregory Mountain Products, the outdoor industry leader in backpack technology for more than 30 years, was purchased this week in a cash deal. Terms were not disclosed.

The new ownership, Gregory Mountain Products, LLC, was formed by partners John Simons, Gregory's President for the last two years, along with investors Warren Kanders and Robert Schiller. They purchased the business from Bianchi International, a BAE Systems, Inc., company, which has owned Gregory since mid-2007, when it acquired Gregory's then-parent company, Armor Holdings.

“The people involved in this effort bring a proven track record of building teams and helping companies succeed, and that's what we plan to do at Gregory – give it the resources it needs to take things to the next level,” Simons said. “As well known as Gregory already is for building innovative suspension and packs that fit, I think it's clear that Gregory has its best years ahead of it. We'll continue to design, build and deliver packs that fit, are comfortable, are durable, and exceed our customers' expectations.”

Moving forward, the most important mission for Gregory's new ownership is building the company's core, growing organically, and extending its brand position both internationally and domestically, Schiller said. “We also see Gregory as a platform from which we can grow. We'll develop a solid team of professionals built on Gregory's core values so that when opportunities arise to extend this platform into other parts of the outdoor industry, we'll be well-positioned for them.”

Gregory's purchase comes at a time in which the brand has introduced several new award-winning series of packs and as the company moves into a new global headquarters in downtown Sacramento. Gregory's 2008 Baltoro 70 and Deva 60 packs this month won an Editors' Choice Award from Backpacker Magazine. In 2007, its Z55 lightweight weekend pack won a Best of 2007 Award from National Geographic Adventure and was named ‘Top All-Around Weekend Pack' by Backpacker. And in late 2006, its Response Suspension System won a Best of 2006 award from Popular Science for technological innovation in the recreation category.

Gregory was previously located in southern California, and the move to Sacramento was initiated because Gregory management identified the city's values, proximity to outdoor activities and business community as a better match for the brand, and more suited to foster company culture, values and goals.

Wayne Gregory, who founded the company in San Diego in 1977, will remain in his role on the design team.

For more information about Gregory packs, visit www.gregorypacks.com or call 877.477.4292.

About Gregory Packs

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2007, Gregory Packs has been the longtime leader in expedition, backpacking and day packs. Gregory is world-renowned for setting durability, comfort and performance standard in backpacks. In recent years, Gregory won awards for its pack designs from such diverse media outlets as Backpacker Magazine, Popular Science, National Geographic Adventure, Consumers Digest and Alpinist Magazine. Responsible for many industry firsts in backpacking fit and design, the Gregory research and design team, including company founder Wayne Gregory, continues to lead the way in innovative backpack technology and performance.

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