Blackstone has agreed to acquire Jack Wolfskin GmbH & Co. KGaA from Quadriga Capital and Barclays Private Equity. The transaction is still subject to approval by the regulatory authorities.
“We are pleased to have Blackstone on board as a long-term oriented and experienced strategic investor,” said Christian Brandt, Chief Finance Officer at Jack Wolfskin.
The ownership change comes with a new phase of growth. Based on the strong brand, the innovative and extensive product portfolio, and the exceptional position in the European core markets, Jack Wolfskin will focus increasingly on internationalization.
“Jack Wolfskin is an exceptional company and unique brand. Blackstone is very experienced supporting successful and high-growth companies and will continue to drive the internationalization and the successful strategy of Jack Wolfskin together with the management team,” said Axel Herberg, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone in Germany.
The long standing Chief Executive Officer Manfred Hell will leave Jack Wolfskin for personal reasons following nearly 25 successful years at the head of the company. He hands over Jack Wolfskin in pristine condition to its new owners.
“It was a unique opportunity and an indescribable experience for me to lead a small company in a market that was just emerging, developing it into what it has become today. As difficult as it naturally is to move on, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take this step. I have placed the company into new hands for its future development, and I am sure its successful path will be continued,” said Manfred Hell. “I want to thank my colleagues and all the employees for their support over the years.”
“Manfred Hell made the company what it is today. We thank him and all his colleagues in the name of all shareholders for the outstanding work together,” said Philipp Jacobi, chairman of the supervisory board at Jack Wolfskin.
The CEO position at Jack Wolfskin will be filled shortly. “We are talking to a few outstanding candidates with international experience and will be able to make an announcement in the following weeks,” said Herberg.
With the departure of Manfred Hell the responsibilities within the executive management team will change. Christian Brandt will become Chief Operating Officer and oversee the operations of Jack Wolfskin. From October 1st onward, his position as CFO will be taken over by Andreas Klotz, who will strengthen the company with his international experience. Andreas Klotz has been in charge of Finance at Puma AG for many years and had been a member of the board of an international company in the fitness sector recently. Markus Bötsch will remain Chief Sales Officer and continue to be responsible for sales. Bötsch has been with the company since 1991, Brandt since 1997.
Functionality, quality and innovation for people who are at home outdoors
Jack Wolfskin is the leading provider of functional outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment in Europe and the largest franchisor in the German specialist sports retail market. Jack Wolfskin products are currently available in more than 400 franchise stores and at 4,000 points of sale across Europe and Asia. Jack Wolfskin products feature a high degree of functionality, user-friendliness and innovation. In recent years, Jack Wolfskin has successfully introduced numerous material and product innovations and holds several patents for technologies in the areas of clothing, rucksacks and tents. In the 2009 calendar year, the Company recorded sales revenues of €304.2 million in Europe, up 21 percent on the previous year. Jack Wolfskin GmbH & Co. KGaA is headquartered in Idstein im Taunus and employs more than 460 people.