Ride Shareholders Approve Purchase By K2

It happened in the meeting room of a Holiday Inn in Issaquah, Washington, right next to Costco (no symbolism there, I’m sure). Ride CEO Robert Marcovitch, flanked by a couple of attorneys, ran the meeting that got formal shareholder approval for the sale of Ride to K2.

Around 35 people, including maybe half a dozen from Ride and none from K2, attended.

According to K2 VP of Snowboarding Brent Turner, K2’s absence was deliberate: “A lot of people thought the meeting was going to be a big deal, and that there would be a lot of yelling and things happening, when really it was a rubber stamp.”

From being first called to order until the adjournment, the meeting lasted only around five minutes. There were no questions about the deal. Nobody even asked when they were going to get their K2 stock. The short meeting didn’t even allow time to do justice to the fresh fruit and pastries.

Details still weren’t forthcoming in the days after the meeting. “I think any real changes we do won’t happen until after the first of the year,” says Turner. “Everyone here has their hands full. For a variety of reasons we were late getting some things shipped, and that’s what we’re concentrating on. However, we’re involved with Ride budgeting meetings and product planning, and I’m guess I’m taking about four or five Ride phone calls a day. But I don’t think you’ll see any big announcements soon.”

At the shareholder meeting, the only question that did come up was from somebody who wanted to know the status of the class-action shareholders lawsuit that was settled some time ago.

One of Ride’s creditors in the audience expressed relief that he could now expect to get paid. CEO Marcovitch, when asked how he felt after the meeting, just grinned and said, “The meeting is adjourned.” He seemed like a man who was glad this part of his job was done.

The Ride people in the room, without exception, expressed the hope that they’d be able to build on what they had already accomplished. They’d spent too long managing cash and doing a deal, and were ready to focus on making and selling snowboard products. They are glad to have K2’s support and resources, but are concerned about how the two organizations will be integrated.

As I left the room, the Ride crew was gathering the food to take back to the office.

–Jeff Harbaugh with reporting from Sean O’Brien