PORTLAND, Ore. & BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM), a leading innovator in active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire OutDry Technologies S.r.l., which owns the intellectual property and other assets comprising the OutDry brand and related business, via a cash purchase from Nextec S.r.l., based near Milan, Italy. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2010, subject to customary closing conditions, and is not expected to have a material effect on the company’s 2010 operating results.
“Columbia’s acquisition of OutDry is the latest example of our strategy to build a portfolio of innovative technologies that deliver performance and protection benefits of greatest importance to outdoor consumers,” said Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia. “We view OutDry’s proprietary construction methods, under development since 1998, as the ‘gold standard’ for producing waterproof, breathable footwear and gloves that outperform products still relying on the 25-year-old method of internal booties and bladders. We intend to deploy OutDry across our portfolio of outdoor brands, including Columbia®, Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel® and Montrail®, as well as to market OutDry to select leading brands within and beyond the outdoor industry.”
Boyle concluded, “We believe the combination of OutDry in our footwear and gloves, together with our new Omni-Dry™ ultrabreathable waterproof membrane found in select Columbia apparel styles beginning in Spring ‘11, means that Columbia now offers the most compelling combination of technologies to deliver head-to-toe waterproof breathable performance to outdoor consumers.”
OutDry’s patented and patent-pending construction methods bond a waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the inside of the outermost layer of a shoe or glove, thereby preventing water or dirt from penetrating to internal airspaces and fabric layers as commonly occurs with products that rely on bulky booties or bladders. OutDry improves waterproof, breathable performance, reduces water-weight gain, maintains insulation capacity, and improves fit and dexterity, resulting in greater comfort. Avoiding water penetration beyond the outermost layer may also help reduce the incidence of mold, mildew and bacteria that often develop when internal fabric layers become wet.
Columbia’s vice president of global footwear, Mark Nenow, sees significant benefits for footwear consumers, noting “OutDry finally delivers the waterproof breathable innovation that outdoor consumers have been asking for. This is ground breaking waterproof breathable footwear innovation for the mountaineer, the hiker, the multisport athlete, the trail running enthusiast, the road runner - any consumer that wants waterproof footwear without having to sacrifice performance, fit, light weight and comfort.”
In Fall 2009, Columbia’s Mountain Hardwear brand introduced a selection of high-performance gloves manufactured using OutDry’s patented construction processes.
Mountain Hardwear President Topher Gaylord commented, “Our consumers demand quality, performance, and superior functionality, and seek the most innovative solutions that allow them to challenge the edges of their potential. Our OutDry gloves have revolutionized our ability to deliver exceptional weather protection, warmth, and dexterity, providing consumers with superior performance over bladder-based construction methods.”
OutDry has gained increased awareness since winning the coveted Ecodesign award at the Volvo Sports Design competition at ISPO 2008, considered one of the most prestigious events within the global outdoor industry.
Nextec S.r.l. chief executive officer and co-founder Luca Morlacchi added, “We believe Columbia’s decision to purchase OutDry’s technology portfolio and to incorporate it across its portfolio of leading outdoor brands will help raise awareness of OutDry’s unique solution to producing truly waterproof breathable footwear and gloves. We look forward to working with our new partners at Columbia Sportswear to further develop the OutDry technology, and to market OutDry to other leading brands, extending its truly waterproof breathable performance benefits to consumers around the world.”
Nextec S.r.l. cofounders and brothers Luca and Matteo Morlacchi will serve as chief executive officer and general manager, respectively, of OutDry Technologies S.r.l., which will remain headquartered near Milan, Italy, and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company.
Columbia and OutDry plan to provide live demonstrations of OutDry’s performance benefits during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, August 3-6, 2010, Booth #155-219.
Additional information and videos illustrating OutDry’s innovative processes can be found here.
About Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia Sportswear Company is a leading innovator in the active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment markets. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in more than 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, Montrail®, and Pacific Trail®. To learn more, please visit the company's websites at www.columbia.com, www.mountainhardwear.com, www.sorel.com, and www.montrail.com.
About Nextec S.r.l./OutDry:
With a great passion for innovation in membrane lamination technology, OutDry is dedicated to making products dryer, lighter and more comfortable for all outdoor enthusiasts. The company is based in the North of Italy with an operations branch in China. For more information, visit: http://www.outdry.com/ENG_home.html.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the expected completion of an acquisition, anticipated results, marketing efforts, and planned investments in future periods. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in these and other forward-looking statements. The company’s expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis; however, each forward-looking statement involves a number of risks and uncertainties, including those set forth in this press release, those described in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other risks and uncertainties that have been or may be described from time to time in other reports filed by the company, including reports on Form 8-K, Form 10-Q and Form 10-K. Potential risks and uncertainties that may affect our future revenues, earnings and performance and could cause the actual results of operations or financial condition of the company to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements in this release include: our ability to complete the acquisition and integrate new operations into our business; our ability to maintain, protect and effectively commercialize acquired technologies; our reliance on product acceptance by consumers; our dependence on independent manufacturers and suppliers; the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts; and intense competition in the industry, which we expect to increase. The company cautions that forward-looking statements are inherently less reliable than historical information. We do not undertake any duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform them to actual results or to reflect changes in events, circumstances or our expectations. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for the company to predict all such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
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