PETALUMA, California — November 6, 2003 — CamelBak Products, Inc., the originator and market leader of the hands-free hydration category, announced today that Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, a New York-based investment firm, will acquire CamelBak in a deal that will close in late-November.
Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, the dedicated private equity arm of Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., manages a $1.7 billion equity pool, concentrating their investments in compelling growth capital opportunities. CamelBak’s exceptional growth in its first 15 years — one of the fastest growing companies in the markets for recreational, government/military and industrial consumer branded products — made this an attractive investment opportunity for Bear Stearns.
Rick Perkal and Bo Arlander, Senior Managing Directors at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking commented, “Our partnership of CamelBak and its excellent management team lets us support a company that dominates the exciting hydration category, and we hope to continue, and even accelerate, its strong growth. Some of the focuses post-merger will be to expand CamelBak’s staff to handle new markets, continue technology innovations, and deliver a wider array of hydration products.”
According to Glenn Gross, President and CEO of CamelBak, the Petaluma company is in a prime position to capitalize on substantial opportunities for growth throughout the hydration category. Not only will CamelBak focus on new markets, but also expand its support of existing markets, including the outdoor, cycling, and winter sports segments. “We wouldn’t be in the position we are without the loyalty of our customers throughout the years,” stated Gross. “The new resources will help us to enhance manufacturing and sourcing capabilities, improve product availability, expand our marketing reach to new customers, and ultimately create more demand.”
Gross further stated, “The partnership between Bear Stearns Merchant Banking and CamelBak signifies a transition into an exciting new era for our company. Their growth orientation and financial support will benefit everyone associated with our company — our employees, our retailers and our customers. We couldn’t be more pleased.”