Black Diamond to Acquire Gregory’s Japanese Distribution Assets
Black Diamond, Inc. (NASDAQ: BDE) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Japanese distribution assets of Gregory Mountain Products (“Gregory”) from Kabushiki Kaisha A&F (“A&F”), the exclusive distributor for Gregory in Japan.
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Black Diamond, Inc. (NASDAQ: BDE) (the â€œCompanyâ€ or â€œBlack Diamondâ€), a leading global provider of outdoor recreation equipment and active lifestyle products, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Japanese distribution assets of Gregory Mountain Products (â€œGregoryâ€) from Kabushiki Kaisha A&F (â€œA&Fâ€), the exclusive distributor for Gregory in Japan.
â€œThe amicable acquisition of Gregory’s Japanese distribution provides a number of benefits, including better control of our products in Japan, specifically the existing Gregory technical and lifestyle pack business,â€ said Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond. â€œSimilar to our internal distribution platform in Europe, controlling our own distribution in Japan is expected to allow Black Diamond to develop a robust platform to support and scale recent and potential future acquisitions in this important market.â€
Beginning January 1, 2013, Gregory intends to assume all of its own sales, marketing and distribution functions in Japan. Dating back to the early 1980’s, A&F has been responsible for Gregory’s sales, marketing and distribution functions in Japan, Gregory’s largest foreign market and an important strategic market for Black Diamond’s long-term growth objectives. A&F represented approximately 6% of The Company’s consolidated 2011 sales.
â€œGregory and A&F have been partners for many decades and as a result, this agreement is designed to be mutually beneficial to both Black Diamond and A&F,â€ continued Metcalf. â€œA&F currently is, and is expected to remain, Gregory’s largest retail partner in Japan through A&F’s owned retail stores. Working directly with Japanese retailers is expected to allow improved forecasting and production planning to better support our Gregory sales growth expectations and provide smoother, more predictable cash flows. Ultimately, we believe controlling our own distribution will continue to be a key source of strength and competitive advantage for Black Diamond. However, there are no plans at this time to alter the existing Black Diamond Equipment branded gear distribution structure that we have with our long-time Japanese partner, Lost Arrow, Inc.â€
About Black Diamond, Inc.
Black Diamond, Inc. is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of innovative active outdoor performance products for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, cycling and other outdoor recreation activities for a wide range of year-round use. The Company’s principal brands, Black DiamondÂ®, Gregoryâ„¢, POCâ„¢ and Piepsâ„¢, are iconic in the active outdoor industry and linked intrinsically with the modern history of these sports. Black Diamond is synonymous with performance, innovation, durability and safety that the outdoor and action sport communities rely on and embrace in their active lifestyle. Headquartered in Salt Lake City at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, the Company’s products are created and tested on some of the best alpine peaks, slopes, crags, roads and trails in the world. These close connections to the Black Diamond lifestyle enhance the authenticity of the Company’s brands, inspire product innovation and strengthen customer loyalty. The Company’s products are sold by leading specialty retailers in the U.S. and 50 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit the Company’s websites at www.blackdiamond-inc.com, www.blackdiamondequipment.com, www.gregorypacks.com, www.pocsports.com or www.pieps.com.
About Gregory Mountain Products
For nearly 35 years, Gregory has been the longtime leader in expedition, backpacking, daypacks and travel gear. World renowned for setting durability, comfort and performance standards in all their products, Gregory has won awards for its pack designs from such diverse media outlets as Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Popular Science, Men’s Journal, Consumers Digest and Alpinist Magazine. Responsible for many industry firsts in backpack 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. For more information about Gregory, visit http://www.gregorypacks.com or call 877.477.4292.