Two prominent sports accessory companies, Chums and Chisco, announce merger

Two of the legendary names in the outdoor retail accessory market – Chums and Chisco – have announced their intention to merge. The new consolidated company will be headquartered at Chisco’s current Salt Lake facility and warehouse.
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Salt Lake City, Utah – Two of the legendary names in the outdoor retail accessory market – Chums and Chisco – have announced their intention to merge. The new consolidated company will be headquartered at Chisco's current Salt Lake facility and warehouse.

The combined assets of these two, privately-held, Utah-based outdoor specialists will make them the largest accessory company in the industry. All manufacturing will be centralized at Chum's Hurricane, Utah facility, while customer service, marketing and product customization will be handled at the Salt Lake office. The merger is expected to be finalized in November, 2006. Both companies combined employ about 60 workers and some of those jobs may shift to Salt Lake.

Chums started making cotton eyewear retainers 23 years ago, and became one of the most famous brands in the world. It also produces a number of other sports accessories. Twenty years ago on the island of Maui, Chisco entered the action sports market with The Band® watchband, the world's number one selling double wraparound action sports watchband. Chisco expanded its product lines over the years to include eyewear retainers, optical and functional accessories like key chains, wallets, purses, lanyards, belts, stuff bags, travel bags, and pet products. They are also the worldwide licensee for Freestyle accessories. With the merger, all eyewear products will be sold under the Chums brand and other accessories will be sold under the Chisco brand. Freestyle remains as a licensed brand.

Chuck Ferries, CEO and president of Chums, will become CEO of the new consolidated company. Beirne Chisolm, president of Chisco, will become Vice President of Marketing, while his brother and Chisco co-founder Greg Chisolm, will be CFO of the new company. Three executives will be named Vice President of Sales: Mike Neary, John Bishop, and Tom Ferries.

Ferries called the merger “great for both companies and great for our customers. It means that our retailers can now buy high quality, name brand products from one vendor, simplifying the purchasing process and fulfillment process.”

Beirne Chisolm said “it's a huge win-win for customers. With our combined retail strength and creativity, customers can expect to see many new and innovative accessories in the months and years ahead. We intend to be an accessories powerhouse.”

Chums and Chisco products are sold in all 50 states and in more than a dozen foreign countries from boutique shops to mass merchants. They also manufacture products for the private label market. Chums is one of the world's leading suppliers of safety accessories for industrial corporations. Some of their products are manufactured globally in China, India, and Taiwan.

The new company is expected to unveil a number of new products and product extensions at the January, 2007 Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake, according to Ferries.

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