Altor to Buy Rossignol
SAM Magazine—Stockholm, Sweden, July 15, 2013—Private equity group Altor is acquiring a majority stake in Rossignol Group from the current owners, Australian bank Macquarie (77 percent) and U.S. sporting goods conglomerate Jarden (17 percent), which also owns K2, Marker, Volkl, and several other brands. The deal values Rossignol at $196 million and is expected to close by this fall.
According to reports, Altor plans to expand the Rossignol brand in outerwear, building on its experience in raising the fortunes of Norwegian softwear brand Helly Hansen since buying it in 2006. "We think the Rossignol brand has huge potential in apparel and we would like to develop ranges that people can wear both in ski resorts and cities," Rossignol group chief executive Bruno Cercley told Reuters.
Once the transaction is complete, Altor will own 80 percent of Rossignol. Private investors, including Cercley and the Boix-Vives family that owned Rossignol from 1955 until they sold to Quiksilver in 2005, will own the rest.
Rossi has been on a bit of a rollercoaster since the Quiksilver purchase, which was priced at 360 million euros (approximately $470 million). In 2009, Quiksilver sold Rossignol for about $52.5 million.
Rossignol had sales of approximately $270 million last year and has been profitable for the past three years, Altor said. However, demand for ski equipment worldwide has been on a long decline since peaking in the early 1990s. Sales this year hit 3.2 million, down from 3.5 million in 2009 and 7 million 20 years ago, according to Reuters. The overall decline stems from a steep drop in the Japanese market, once the world’s largest, and the grown in rentals in many other countries.
Aside from expanding into outdoor apparel, Cercley said the company would seek acquisitions in the outdoor market to further reduce the company’s reliance on winter sports.