Hong Kong-based Samsonite International SA said Thursday it has agreed to buy outdoor goods company Gregory Mountain Products from Black Diamond Inc. for $85 million in cash.
Samsonite said the transaction is expected to close in late July. The luggage maker also said it increased its existing revolving credit facility from $300 million to $500 million, “giving it greater financial flexibility as it continues to evaluate acquisition opportunities globally.”
Ramesh Tainwala, chief operating officer of Samsonite, said the Gregory acquisition is part of the company’s ongoing diversification strategy beyond its core business of luggage and bags. He said Gregory and High Sierra, an entry-level backpack player Samsonite bought last year, are “very credible brands” with untapped potential.
“Gregory is for the professional outdoor enthusiast, it’s a very credible brand, but still very limited, in that its sales are limited to North America, particularly the U.S. and Japan. In these two places it’s probably the number-one brand in its category, but beyond that it hasn’t had much distribution,” Tainwala said.
“[The deal] really allows us to get into an adjoining category without a lot of risk, because it’s not a very expensive buy and what we’re buying is a profitable, small, but credible brand, and now it’s up to us to use our distribution reach to get them out to the rest of the world,” he said.
Samsonite said Gregory’s revenue for the year ended Dec. 31, 2013, increased about 14.3 percent to $34.9 million from $30.6 million the year before. After selling Gregory, Salt Lake City-based Black Diamond’s portfolio of active outerwear and apparel labels will include its namesake brand as well as Poc and Pieps.
The Gregory deal is Samsonite’s third “strategic acquisition” this year. In May, it bought electronic devices case-maker Speck Products, and in April, it bought French luggage company Lipault.
Tainwala said the company might take a small break from acquisitions to grow its recently added assets, but it is on the lookout for good opportunities.
“There could be a possibility of getting into another category where we do not have a play right now, for example handbags — not fashion, high-end handbags, but everyday-use handbags. If something credible comes about where we know what we can do with the brand, we wouldn’t hesitate,” he said.
Asian companies are becoming increasingly important players in M&A activity. The Samsonite deal comes just a day after Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. said it was buying U.S. jeweler Hearts on Fire Co. LLC for $150 million.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye