Horny Toad Acquires Nau - SNEWS

Horny Toad Acquires Nau

Horny Toad Activewear, Inc. is proud to announce that it has acquired the Nau brand. Six weeks ago, on May 2, 2008, Nau, Inc. announced it was closing shop due to an inability to secure additional financing. That event triggered an overwhelming response from Nau’s customers who recognized the value associated with Nau’s product, brand and pioneering work in the arena of sustainability.
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PORTLAND, OR, — Horny Toad Activewear, Inc. is proud to announce that it has acquired the Nau brand. Six weeks ago, on May 2, 2008, Nau, Inc. announced it was closing shop due to an inability to secure additional financing. That event triggered an overwhelming response from Nau's customers who recognized the value associated with Nau's product, brand and pioneering work in the arena of sustainability.

Their response, and a deep belief in what Nau represents, inspired a small group of now former Nau employees to see if they could pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and take another shot at this thing Nau, Inc. is pleased to announce that Horny Toad, a like-minded, entrepreneurial Santa Barbara-based lifestyle apparel company, has stepped forward and purchased the bulk of its remaining assets. Horny Toad believes in Nau's underlying ethos and is committed to continuing the key components of the Nau brand: its product, its core philosophies and its customer and community relationships.

“We're still committed to being a catalyst for positive change and bringing distinctive product to our customers,” said Mark Galbraith, who now works for the new company as Nau's head of Product Design. “We plan to re-open with a new Fall/Holiday 2008 collection that continues to reflect the design philosophy Nau's customers have come to know and love - a balance of Beauty, Performance and Sustainability.” As in the past, Nau will source materials and produce garments in the most environmentally-sensitive manner available and continue to work with manufacturing partners to push the envelope in all areas of social and environmental responsibility.

The new Nau (we'll call it version 2.0) will launch on August 1, 2008 as a new and separate company benefiting from operational support and experience provided by Horny Toad, its new parent company. This will include a transition of fulfillment and logistic services to Horny Toad's social venture partners, Planet Access. “We're thrilled to find a partner who both recognizes and values the unique nature of what we've created and is committed to supporting the growth of our business over the long term,” said Ian Yolles, who was hired by Horny Toad as Nau's head of Marketing.

According to Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad, “We saw in Nau an innovative brand representing the perfect blend of outdoor, urban fashion sensibility with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. It is all about their innovative product, authentic brand and most importantly the talented group behind those attributes. Our long term vision is to create a family of complimentary brands that can learn from one another while embodying a do the right thing philosophy.” Horny Toad has also pioneered an experimental retail concept in Portland, OR. The Lizard Lounge is one part retail venue and one part urban social hub that carries a variety of lifestyle apparel brands.

Nau will re-emerge with a smaller core team focused on product and brand development. Its products will continue to be sold through its website, nau.com, but rather than continuing to sell through its own retail outlets, Nau will begin partnering with other select, like-minded retailers. In Portland, the plan will be to introduce Nau at the Lizard Lounge in Fall '08.

Most importantly, Nau will hold on to the vision that formed the essence of its distinctive brand. Therefore, Horny Toad is committed to maintaining and evolving Nau's Partners for Change program to continue giving a percentage of every sale to organizations working for positive change, and as always, involving customers directly in that giving process.

In the mean time the old Nau, Nau Inc. (we'll call it version 1.0) will continue to sell the remainder of its Spring/Summer line at reduced prices into the month of July at nau.com. During this period, Nau version 1.0 will not offer any returns or exchanges.

As part of the version 2.0 re-launch one of the first tasks will be to reignite Nau's blog, The Thought Kitchen (http://blog.nau.com ). Serving as Nau's first public face when it was posted back in August of 2005, the blog will continue as a place where people can learn about and discuss Nau's progress—among many, many other topics.

So stay tuned. Nau will be reorganizing, consolidating and working like hell to get everything in place for their fall launch.

“We're so pleased to have a second chance to make the Nau concept work. It seemed like such a shame to lose a brand that had harnessed so much enthusiasm and passion and talent and had resonated with so many in such a short amount of time,” said Hal Arneson, whom Horny Toad hired as Nau's Creative Director. “Now, we have a new lease on life. We're confident with the help of our new colleagues at Horny Toad, many of whom we've worked with in the past and known for years, we can achieve our potential and grow this business into an enduring, innovative enterprise. Stay tuned!”

About Nau
Nau, Inc., headquartered in Portland, OR, is a technical and lifestyle outdoor apparel company dedicated to making unique, stylish and highly functional clothing in the most environmentally and socially responsible manner possible. Nau was founded in 2005 by a seasoned team with deep experience in the outdoor, fitness and retail fashion industries with brands such as Patagonia, Nike and The Body Shop. It introduced its first line of clothing in March of 2007 and is currently selling its third season. Nau, Inc. operates an ecommerce site at http://www.nau.com and a blog for like-minded individuals interested in sharing ideas about positive change, the Thought Kitchen http://blog.nau.com/ both of which were acquired by Horny Toad as part of the acquisition of Nau's assets).

About Horny Toad
Based in Santa Barbara a Frisbee throw to the beach, Horny Toad makes active lifestyle apparel for all genders. “Every day is an adventure” is the fuel for unique clothing designs and a darn good way of life that includes taking fun seriously. Toad culture thrives on community involvement, sustainability and looking for new ways to improve how business gets done. To learn more visit
www.hornytoad.com or call 800-865-TOAD

About Lizard Lounge
Lizard is called Lounge because ‘store' was so wrong. A retail lounge and social hub located in the Portland's Pearl District – a place for the hunters and gatherers of today to kick back and enjoy shopping- and life-off-line. This unique multi-use space houses a cool mixture of men's and women's clothing, denim, sunglasses, bags and shoes along with live music, local artists, free wireless, an iMac bar and ping pong. Come in, hang out, have some coffee, look around. 1323 NW Irving Street. 503.416.7476. Check out www.lizardloungpdx.com

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