Monday, May 10, 2010

News Update: Gregory and Black Diamond merge

In a buyout totaling $130 million dollars Gregory Mountain Products, maker of backcountry packs and daypacks has merged with Black Diamond Equipment, maker of a plethora of skiing, climbing, and outdoor gear. They are now owned by a Connecticut based venture capital investment company, Clarus Corp. Peter Metcalf, co-founder of Black Diamond becomes the CEO of both companies now. Clarus paid $45 million to Gregory and $90 to Black Diamond. The deal seems especially lucrative for Gregory which now has access to new markets in Europe.

From a consumers perspective the deal should not change much except in increase an the scale of both brands. The hope of course is that there will be no decline in the customer service both companies are well known for, or a decline in the craftsman ship of their products (Gregory especially). The fear however is a repeat of the sale of the San Francisco based, "The North Face", which was sold in 2000 to the VF Corporation, also a Venture Capital investment firm. Many outdoor enthusiasts complained of a decline in quality especially with their high end equipment and mountaineering gear. Undeniably though The North Face also expanded to become one of the most well known and commonly worn brands of outdoor gear regardless of any complaints.

For More:
The Funemployment Blog: Gear Review: "Gregory Z22 Daypack"
The Sacramento Bee: "Sacramento Backpack Manufacturer Sold to Investment Firm"
Gregory Goes There: "A New Era for Gregory"

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