Mar­quee Brands Buys Dakine Ath­letic Brand

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY JEAN E. PALMIERI

Mar­quee Brands is ex­pand­ing its reach in the out­door sports field.

The com­pany to­day will re­veal that it has ac­quired the Dakine brand and all re­lated in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. At the same time, Mar­quee Brands has en­tered into a long-term li­cense with JR286 Inc., which has ac­quired the op­er­at­ing as­sets of Dakine and be­come Mar­quee Brands' long-term part­ner in op­er­at­ing the brand.

Terms were not dis­closed.

Dakine was founded on Maui's North Shore in 1979 and is based in Hood River, Ore. Its claim to fame is the in­no­va­tion leash it cre­ated for surf­boards that be­came a hit among Hawaii's surf­ing enthusiasts. To­day it has ex­panded into other ac­tion sports and sells snow, surf and bik­ing bags, back­packs, gear, ap­parel and ac­ces­sories.

The brand is sold in North Amer­ica and Europe — where sales are al­most evenly split — but Cory Baker, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Mar­quee Brands, said growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in­clude Asia and Latin Amer­ica.

The South­ern Cal­i­for­nia-based JR286 was founded in 1989 and spe­cial­izes in the de­sign, devel­op­ment, sourc­ing, manufacturing and dis­tri­bu­tion of ath­letic, fit­ness and out­door prod­ucts. It has a long-term global li­cense with Nike that cov­ers hun­dreds of sport­sre­lated ac­ces­sories and equip­ment.

Un­der the terms of the deal, JR286 will de­velop Dakine's core cat­e­gories and main­tain ded­i­cated teams for the brand in Hood City and Los An­ge­les. In ad­di­tion, Ken Mei­dell, Dakine's cur­rent chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, will join Mar­quee Brands.

Michael DeVir­gilio, pres­i­dent of

Mar­quee Brands, said the com­pany's “vi­sion is to in­ten­sify Dakine's focus on pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity prod­ucts for its snow, surf and bike cus­tomers while also push­ing the brand to ex­plore ex­cit­ing and un­charted wa­ters.”

Jonathan Hir­sh­berg, pres­i­dent and ceo of JR286, said he ap­pre­ci­ates Dakine's “long­stand­ing her­itage on the moun­tain and in the wa­ter and the suc­cess it has achieved by stay­ing true to its core cus­tomer. We are ex­cited to be­gin work­ing with the tal­ented Dakine team mem­bers around the globe. Their ex­per­tise sits right in our wheel­house of de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing, sourc­ing and global com­mer­cial­iza­tion.”

Baker said the goal is to ex­pand the brand or­gan­i­cally and of­fer more prod­ucts in ex­ist­ing and com­ple­men­tary cat­e­gories, whether that's ad­di­tional ap­parel pieces or camp­ing equip­ment, for ex­am­ple.

“Dakine is a high-qual­ity brand with a per­for­mance in­tegrity and legacy of in­no­va­tion that has al­lowed it to de­velop a fiercely pas­sion­ate cus­tomer fol­low­ing, and which we be­lieve is ripe with un­tapped growth po­ten­tial,” said Zachary Sigel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Neu­berger Ber­man, the pri­vate eq­uity firm that funds Mar­quee Brands.

Mar­quee Brands' portfolio con­sists of Ben Sher­man, Bruno Magli, Body Glove, BCBG Max Azria and BCBGen­er­a­tion, brands that gen­er­ate sales of more than $1.5 bil­lion at re­tail.

Baker said Mar­quee Brands' portfolio is “dif­fer­en­ti­ated and di­verse by de­sign.

But what they all have in com­mon is that they're ex­tremely au­then­tic and have a loyal con­sumer base. We pass on a lot of brands that some­times have hun­dreds of mil­lion dol­lars in sales, but they don't pass the lit­mus test. But if you're an out­door en­thu­si­ast, you're an am­bas­sador of Dakine.”

The brand was founded in Hawaii in 1979 and now of­fers gear for surf, snow and bike.

A back­pack from Dakine.

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