Victorinox Brings Travel Gear In-house

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Victorinox-Travel-GearSwitzerland – Victorinox, the makers of Swiss Army Knives, cutlery and timepieces, is taking over its Travel Gear product division from licensee, TRG Accessories. U.S.-based TRG, headquartered in St. Louis, has held the license for the Victorinox travel goods division since 1999.

Victorinox is forming a new business unit devoted to the travel gear category that will facilitate expansion into international markets and allow the expansion of its luggage portfolio. The travel gear unit will be based at the headquarters in Switzerland, and  Carsten Kulcke has been named CEO of the new business.

VF Corp Brings SmartWool's Canadian Distribution In House

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smartwool socksStarting in 2015 Smartwool will join its VF Corporation brethren in using the company's Canadian distribution platform, VF Outdoor Canada, for all logistical, planning and back office support. The brand will keep all sales reps through the transition, in order to provide stability and consistency to SmartWool's Canadian accounts.

Columbia Sportswear to Acquire Prana

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pranaacquisitioncolumbiaPortland, Ore. – Global outdoor apparel, footwear and accessories company Columbia Sportswear has signed an agreement to acquire Prana (check out the article we did after visiting its new headquarters), the active lifestyle brand that started in 1992 making yoga and rock climbing inspired apparel. Majority owner Steelpoint Capital Partners and all other minority stakeholders will sell to Columbia for $190 million in cash—roughly 13 times Prana's projected 2014 EBITDA.

Columbia is a public company (NASDAQ: COLM) and Prana joins its portfolio of outdoor brands distributed globally: Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail. Prana will stay headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., and Scott Kerslake will remain CEO of Prana, reporting to Columbia President and CEO Tim Boyle.

Jos A. Bank Acquires Eddie Bauer

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eddiebauerlogoJos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. is buying Everest Holdings LLC, the parent company of outdoor retailer Eddie Bauer, in a cash and stock deal valued at $825 million, according to Associated Press. The deal comes as pressure mounts from rival Men's Warehouse. Jos A. bank had been on the hunt for possible acquisitions over the past two years, and Eddie Bauer was at the top of the buyout list.

Eddie Bauer was founded in 1920 and sells outdoor apparel and accessories. It's 2013 revenue is estimated between $885 million and $895 million. Jos A. bank was founded in 1905, and today has 629 stores in 44 states across the United States.

Costco Makes Yakima’s Naughty List

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CostcoBeaverton, Ore. – Rack maker Yakima uncovered that mega-retailer Costco was selling two of it’s products, despite not being an authorized Yakima dealer and is working to stop any more sales of the product to the warehouse chain.

Columbia Buys Large Commercial Building Next to HQ

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columbia-sportswear-logo-primaryPortland, Ore. – Outdoor apparel brand Columbia Sportswear has purchased an industrial building near its existing Washington County headquarters. According to commercial real estate information service, CoStar, the company paid $3.75 million, or approximately $75 per square foot. The building is roughly 50,000 sq. ft. on 5 acres of land.

Ron Parham, Columbia's investor relations director, acknowledged that the building purchase is meant to secure space for anticipated growth, but the company has no immediate plans for using the space.

Essilor International Brings Costa Inc. into the Fold

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Costa Inc. Essilor sunglassesDaytona Beach, Fla. – Essilor International recently finished its acquisition of Costa Inc., adding the polarized performance sunglasses brand to its corrective and protective lens portfolio. Following the merger, Costa will continue to develop its sunglass technologies while expanding its Rx (prescription lens) offerings and utilizing Essilor's specialties in anti-fog and hydrophobic coatings. Costa will still be headquartered in Daytona Beach and will not change its operations or distribution for the time being.


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