A Brief History Of Mergers In The Snowboarding World

1995–The Boom Years• September 5: Ride buys Thermal factory and 5150 snowboard brand for 11.9-million dollars. Gets premier factory, aces out smaller brands from OEM production.

• September: Bamboo Curtain bought by Fera International. Core snowboard brand never seen again.

• October: Ride buys SMP for more than two-million dollars.

• December: Salomon buys Bonfire for 3.25-million dollars. Brand maintains U.S. identity and slowly gains market share.

December: Marker buys 25 percent of DNR Sportsystem for 5.4-million dollars. Announces it will build new snowboard factory in Salt Lake City. The move ultimately takes Marker to the brink of bankruptcy two years later.

1996–Last Minute Expansions• October: Jamie Salter and Kenny Finkelstein buy CAS Sports from Ride for three-million dollars. Salter had sold CAS to Ride several years before.

• October: Surf Politix buys LaCroix. First snowboard manufacturer to buy a ski factory. Also first to own factories in both North America and Europe. Goes bankrupt less than two years later.

1997–Early Mergers And Consolidations• January: Nitro sells half of company to Italian boot manufacturer Dolomite, who later merges with bigger boot company Tecnica. By fall of 1998, Nitro U.S. offices merged with Tecnica in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.

• January: Arnell Snowboards bought by Yoshida for an undisclosed amount, to compliment its Molly snowboard brand (later renamed MLY.)

• March: European independent Rad Air sells 49 percent of company to ski manufacturer Völkl, moves production. Owner Harry Gunz continues to build even longer boards.

• April: France’s Regis Rolland merges his A Snowboards brand with Grand Chavin, another French company that owned Hot and Hammer brands. Gets solid factory in France.

• April: Rossignol buys 34 percent of Emery. Rossi’s first step toward controlling its own snowboard strap-binding and step-in program.

• June: Ride buys Device for almost three-million dollars, gets a step-in program. Promptly closes Device’s Boulder, Colorado offices.

• July: Mambosok bought by Gerry sportswear. Funky outdoor apparel brand gets financial backing.

• August: Surf apparel giant Quiksilver buys core snowboard company Mervin Manufacturing and its brands Lib Tech and Gnu for seven-million dollars. Almost nothing changes at either company.

• September: Adidas buys Salomon for 1.5-billion dollars. Germans take control of Bonfire and Salomon Snowboards from French.

• November: Morrow buys Westbeach snowboard apparel for six-million dollars. Hardgoods company buys its way into outerwear business.
• November: K2 buys Planet Earth and Katin. K2’s first acquisition into the action-sports business. Quickly announces the 50,000-Dollar K2 Big Wave Challenge

• December: Avalanche and Straight Line merge. Create A Sport to combine synergies between winter snowboard business and Neptune wakeboard and Straight Line waterski business.

• December: Ride buys FullTilt Wakeboards for 1.7-million dollars. Ride attempts to balance seasonality of business.

1998–In The Thick Of It

March 2: A Sport buys ASM Factory from Scott. Gives Avalanche and Silence additional factory space, plus added OEM business.June: Gen-X sold to Global Sports for 1.5-million shares of stock and five-million dollars in cash. Salter and Finkelstein get big backer and support. June: Volant buys Limited Snowboards. Core ski manufacturer had floundered with its own snowboard program and Aggression brand it bought in 1994.August: Gen-X buys Lamar Snowboards. Gives Salter and crew a specialty brand.September: Vans buys Switch for fifteen-million dollars in stock, paid over several years. Finally marries partners after three years of licensing agreements.

>• September: Swag buys the Twist name. Enables independent snowboard apparel brand to sell to big-box stores without compromising core brands Swag and Prom.September: World Industries buys Dub and Droors apparel brands from Circus Distribution. Circus focuses solely on DC footwear business.

• November: Rich Novak, owner of NHS and Santa Cruz, buys DNR Sportsystem from Marker. Part of Marker’s divestment from snowboarding. Factory auctioned off in January 1999.

1999–The Beat Rolls On• January: After step-in recalls, Rossignol buys the remaining shares of Emery for undisclosed amount.

• March 26: K2 buys Morrow’s assets, but not Westbeach, for 3.2-million dollars.

• July: Global Sports buys Limited from Volant. Evidently Volant just didn’t get snowboarding.

• July and August: Jaysport buys Type A, Division 23, and Atlantis. Purchases specialty brands to balance out chain-store business.

• August: K2 buys Ride for eighteen-million dollars. Expansion and consolidation finally catch up to Ride.