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Outdoor financials: Thule acquires Chariot for bike trailers; KKR buying Academy Sports; Quicksilver Q2 earnings mixed

It's an acquisition spree -- Thule acquires Chariot Carriers and KKR is buying retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors. Plus Quicksilver's second-quarter earnings.

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The Thule Group, best known for its vehicle roof racks, will add bicycle trailers and child carriers to its product lineup after acquiring Chariot Carriers Inc. June 2.

Brothers Dan and Chris Britton, who founded Chariot nearly 20 years ago, and CEO Pierre Doyon sold the Canada-based company to Sweden-based Thule for an undisclosed amount.

“The acquisition is a natural step in the Thule Group’s increased focus on consumer products for an active lifestyle,” company officials said in a press release. “Chariot bicycle trailers and multi-functional child carriers are designed for parents committed to an active lifestyle by bringing their children conveniently, safely and in style in their family adventures.”

Chariot carriers can be adapted for cycling, jogging, strolling, hiking and even skiing. The company employs about 30 people in Calgary, where it will remain. Dan Britton will stay on as director of innovation.

KKR to acquire Academy Sports

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. announced June 1 plans to purchase outdoor, fitness and sporting goods retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, but the selling Gochman family plans to retain a minority ownership stake, officials said.

Katy, Texas-based Academy Sports has 131 locations in 11 states in the Southeast. It recorded $2.7 billion in revenue in 2010 and employs 16,000 people. Company officials said the deal with New York-based KKR will help accelerate growth.

The deal is expected to close in six to eight weeks, after which Academy Sports President Rodney Faldyn will be promoted to CEO and retain his current title.

Quicksilver Q2 revenue up, but reports loss

Quicksilver Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) reported higher fiscal second-quarter 2011 revenue, but swung to a loss on charge-offs and debt reduction.

The Huntington Beach, Calif.-based outdoor lifestyle apparel brand reported revenue up 2 percent to $478.1 million for its fiscal second quarter, ended April 30, 2011, compared to the same period a year ago.

Sales were strongest in the Americas, up 5 percent to $210.7 million, but weaker in Europe ($206.9 million) and Asia ($58.1 million) – both each down 1 percent.

Quicksilver reported a quarterly net loss of $83.3 million, or a loss of $0.51 per diluted share, compared to a profit of 9.4 million, or $0.07 per diluted share a year ago. The steep loss was largely due to charge-offs and paying down debt. The company reduced its debt to $594 million – down 19 percent from a year ago.

— Compiled by David Clucas

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