Mountain Hardwear and Columbia Sportswear Merge

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The Lost Zemitis Tapes roll on.

Jack and various other folks announce Mountain Hardwear's purchase by Columbia to the MHW staff.

First the Short Version.

And then a Longer One.

Transcripts:

 


Short Version

Jack Gilbert: Did somebody tip you off something was going on?

Female voice: What?

Mike Wallenfels: No, she’s visiting.

Jack: How’s everybody doing?

Speakers: Great.

Male voice: So far [unclear]

Jack: Today is a very significant day in the history of Mountain Hardwear. And it was actually about nine and a half years ago we set up over on Gilman Street in Berkeley with a bunch of folding furniture and a fax machine and frankly the odds were somewhat against us being successful at that point but as of a couple of minutes ago a press release was just sent out to the world effectively announcing a merger between Mountain Hardwear and Columbia Sportswear.

Paul Kramer: Jack and I have been very interested in making this. As both folks from Columbia; Bob [Masin], et cetera and Bill [Baumann] have mentioned, there’s a really good fit, they don’t want us to change and that’s why we are excited about this. They do – actually I think Bob was a little apologizing for the Titanium, it’s a very good line, but they’re not really trying to make the same kind of stuff as we are and they’re not asking us to change.  If they wanted another Columbia we wouldn’t be the right folks. They don’t need another Columbia so they’re wanting us to be who we are and Jack and I are really excited about it and there would be a lots of new things that we can approach now like packs, like I think some other things that we don’t want to talk about yet but they’ll be now open for us. So I’m excited and next maybe 5, 6, 10 years, whatever it happens to be it will be a great time. That’s all I’ve got.

Jack: Well Martin [Zemitis], if you get this computer I’ll read you the headline and tell you what it says here on Yahoo. It says, “Columbia Sportswear and Mountain Hardwear join forces.”

Martin: All right.

Jack: So we are – the die is cast.

Martin: It’s there already? That fast? That’s amazing.

Jack: There is a conference at 2:00. This thing is orchestrated Martin, this is not haphazard process.

Martin: Nicely done.


Long Version

Jack Gilbert: Did somebody tip you off something was going on?

Female voice: What?

Mike Wallenfels: No, she’s visiting.

Jack: How’s everybody doing?

Speakers: Great.

Male voice: So far [unclear]

Jack: Today is a very significant day in the history of Mountain Hardwear. And it was actually about nine and a half years ago we set up over on Gilman Street in Berkeley with a bunch of folding furniture and a fax machine and frankly the odds were somewhat against us being successful at that point but as of a couple of minutes ago a press release was just sent out to the world effectively announcing a merger between Mountain Hardwear and Columbia Sportswear.

Columbia Sportswear is the most successful company that’s ever operated in the outdoor industry. Last year they had sales of over $800 million and they made $102 million, if I’m not mistaken, after tax profits. We’ve been extremely successful in our own right as a high-end niche company. Our sales last year were $31.5 million. But we actually fit together in a lot of very significant ways. I think the people that I met from Columbia are honest, they’re hardworking, they’re outdoor people, they’re a lot like people that are here. I think that there’s a lot of things that can happen to build Mountain Hardwear faster in the next 5 years in a combination with a company like Columbia than there is that we could do it on our own. But Bob is actually going to say a few words, and I think I’ll shut up and let you go ahead.

Bob Masin: Thanks Jack. Greetings to all my new teammates, it’s great to see everybody. I think I’m speaking for everybody at Columbia when I say that we’ve always been huge admirers of Mountain Hardwear and huge fans. You have a spectacular reputation in our business and we are very proud and thrilled to be associated with MHW. We feel there are a lot of similarities between the two companies. We’re not exactly the same, but there are some very important traits that are very similar; one is we pride ourselves as being honest to our customers, we take a lot of pride in airing on the side of being too user-friendly from a customer service point of view.  I know that you have the best products in the world for this business. We take a lot of pride in our product as well. We don’t have the exact same targets, but we feel that – well Tim will tell you tomorrow product is everything. And it may not be everything but without great product it is very difficult to succeed. So from that standpoint we really have a lot of similarities. Even the culture of the companies, I think, in terms of the relaxed nature of the way the business is managed and I think we always try to have fun and make money in Columbia. It’s hard to have one without the other frankly and it seems like the atmosphere here is great and I understand almost everybody here is into the outdoors, a lot of Columbia people are. Paul was telling me a earlier about what a great mountain climber Jack is, I didn’t know that.

Laughter

Jack: La Paz is my favorite climbing[?]

Bob: So there are so many similarities and again your reputation is just spectacular and I think it’s all based on the people, it’s all about the people. So we are very fortunate and we know we’re going to learn some stuff from Mountain Hardwear, we feel there’s things that we could share with you folks that improve some efficiencies and I think I’ve known Paul and Jack since 1980 so it’s not really 30 years, but he did have different color hair when we met.

Some differences in the companies; one is – and think this makes us more complimentary – if you look at the traditional pyramid of the outdoor business, we’ve always felt that at the top of that pyramid were some of the best companies in the world: Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Marmot, Arctyrex, North Face, great companies that really serve the specialty retailer very well. We’ve never really played there with our brand. We have a little bit different target, we have more volume aspirations, our distribution is extremely broad, we do sell to some specialty stores, we also sell to some big department stores that can be very aggressive with their pricing.

Most importantly we want to keep out of your way, everything’s going to stay here, the management team is in place, there’s no Columbia logo on any of your products or anything like that, it’s going to be Mountain Hardwear as it’s been and hopefully we can help each other, tweak a few things to make both companies profitable, more efficient and this could be a lot of fun so we’re thrilled to be here and we’re very honored to be teammates with you guys. Thank you.

[Applause]

Speaker: Any words of wisdom?

Paul: Well, it’s been – sorry it’s been sort of secretive, people wondered what was going on for the last few months. It’s been an interesting negotiation over those time but Jack and I have been very interested in making this. As both folks from Columbia; Bob, et, cetera and Bill have mentioned, there’s a really good fit, they don’t want us to change and that’s why we are excited about this. They do – actually I think Bob was a little apologizing for the Titanium, it’s a very good line, but they’re not really trying to make the same kind of stuff as we are and they’re not asking us to change. They want us to think if they wanted another Columbia we wouldn’t be the right folks. They don’t need another Columbia so they’re wanting us to be who we are and Jack and I are really excited about it and there would be a lots of new things that we can approach now like packs, like I think some other things that we don’t want to talk about yet but they’ll be now open for us. So I’m excited and next maybe 5, 6, 10 years, whatever it happens to be it, will be a great time. That’s all I’ve got. Thank you.

Jack: Well Martin, if you get this computer I’ll read you the headline and tell you what it says here on Yahoo. It says, “Columbia Sportswear and Mountain Hardwear join forces.”

Martin: All right.

Jack: So we are – the die is cast.

Martin: It’s there already? That fast? That’s amazing.

Jack: There is a conference at 2:00pm. This thing is orchestrated Martin, this is not haphazard process.

Martin: Nicely done.

by Author
MartinZemitis MartinZemitis's picture

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Story Copyright
09/12/17