Financial terms for the management buyout were not disclosed, but include all assets and rights attached to the brand.
Part of Kering’s sport and lifestyle division, which is anchored by Puma, Volcom acquired Electric in 2008 for $25.3 million in cash.
Founded in 2000, the San Clemente, Calif.-based firm produces action-sports oriented sunglasses such as snow goggles, along with T-shirts, watches and other accessories.
Kering does not break out revenues for its small brands, but in reporting fourth-quarter and full-year results, it noted that Volcom and Electric were “impacted by an unfavorable action sports market environment.”
Revenues in the sport and lifestyle division climbed 13.5 percent last year, or 5.9 percent on a comparable basis, reflecting greater traction at Puma.
It is understood that Electric, a niche firm with specialized distribution, would have been difficult to integrate into Kering Eyewear, formed in 2014 and helmed by former Safilo executive Roberto Vedovotto. In effect, Kering decided to bring its eyewear production and distribution in-house, chipping away at the long-accepted notion that licenses for this category are the most clear-cut and necessary strategy.
This is Kering’s second recent disposal. Last December, the French conglomerate finalized the sale of Sergio Rossi, the luxury Italian shoe label, to European investment house Investindustrial. Sergio Rossi had been one of the French group’s smallest subsidiaries, overshadowed by larger brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent. The footwear company failed to live up to its potential within Kering’s portfolio, with Rossi himself leaving and the brand seeing a revolving door of managers and designers.