Higganum, CT. and Phila., PA.-- GCI Outdoor Inc. and RIO Brands proudly announce the company launch of Integrity Outdoor Brands, a joint venture bringing the industry’s top innovator GCI Outdoor together with RIO Adventure and San Angelo, the high profile sporting goods and hunting divisions of RIO Brands. RIO Brands will spin off its sporting goods division and inject it, along with substantial capital, into Integrity Outdoor Brands to support an aggressive long term growth strategy. The formal closing of the joint venture agreement is scheduled for December 31, 2008.
The synergy of GCI’s cutting edge designs and product innovation with RIO’s outstanding 60 year reputation, prime China manufacturing facilities, and financial strength - and jointly their relentless focus on vendor-retail partnerships - instantly qualifies Integrity Outdoor Brands as the leading supplier of quality portable recreation gear for camping/outdoor, water sports and hunting/shooting accessories to the sporting goods trade.
“This is an enormously exciting time for us, and we think a huge step forward for the camp furniture industry,” said Jeff Polke, Co-President of GCI Outdoor. Adds Co-President Dan Grace, “We’ve been driving innovation in camp furniture for a few years.” With RIO’s access to capital, manufacturing capacity, and built-in quality control, this really frees us up to drive new product development to a whole new level.” According to Warren Cohen, President of RIO Brands, “There are tremendous synergies between the two companies - complimentary channels of distribution, three strong brands, a great marriage of innovation on the one side and manufacturing strength on the other. In Dan Grace and Jeff Polke, we have two sharp young guys whose energy and abilities will grow this new company exponentially while we, at RIO Brands, focus on expanding our core categories of beach and backyard”.
GCI Outdoor owners Dan Grace and Jeff Polke will become Co-CEO’s of Integrity Outdoor Brands and will lead the new venture. RIO Brands’ ownership will be active at the Board of Director level. Key members of the RIO Adventure/San Angelo sales and customer service team will join the current GCI Outdoor management and staff, which will transition to full operational control of the new company, assuring that Integrity Outdoor Brands provides dedication to customer service, excellence in quality, and relentless pursuit of exciting new products.