Wyndcrest Partners, Ltd., an West Palm Beach, Florida private investment group, bought substantial assets of Westbeach Canada from the Salem, Oregon-based Morrow, Inc. for 2.45-million dollars. The purchase was made through the newly formed Westbeach Sports, Inc., an entity that Wyndcrest set up and includes Westbeach Founders Chip Wilson and Scott Sibley of Vancouver, as well as longstanding British Columbia sales rep Dave Halliwell.
The deal includes all of the Westbeach trademarks, the Westbeach Classic, the wholesale apparel business, and two Westbeach retail locations in downtown Vancouver and in Whistler Village. Westbeach's Bellevue, Washington store was sold separately earlier this year.
This move marks the end of apparel operations for the Salem, Oregon-based, Morrow-owned Westbeach entity, which had acquired the business in November of 1997. That company, which sold the Morrow snowboard brand to K2 on March 26, 1999, will reinvest its cash into businesses not related to snowboarding, says President Blair Mullin. However, it still has some Westbeach receivables to collect and inventory to liquidate this season. The company was estimating sales of approximately 8.8-million dollars for this year.
All of the Westbeach employees were offered positions with the newly formed company, which will be based in Vancouver.
Wyndcrest Founder and lead investor John Textor is also the majority shareholder in Sims Sports, but he's emphatic that the two brands will be run as completely separate businesses.
“We don't want another incarnation of the Morrow-Westbeach combination,” he says. “If there's going to be any influence between the brands, it will be through cooperation-not consolidation. They might partner on events or do things like that.
“Westbeach is a strong brand, with an incredibly loyal following, that has continued to grow in the face of remarkably challenging conditions. Despite prior reports of reportable 'shipped' sales as of September 30, Westbeach continued to ship product to retailers on an aggressive pace in October and will ultimately deliver increased sales for 1999. Thanks to the efforts of the entire Westbeach team, this is truly an acquisition of an authentic brand, with surprising momentum, that was only possible because its prior owner had made a decision to exit the snowboard business.”
Textor adds that there will be no changes in distribution in the coming year, and that the brand will attempt to keep all the same reps. He says Westbeach will still expand its spring product line and try to balance its business a little more.
Chip Wilson, speaking for the founders and new management group, says, “We are incredibly excited to have reestablished a leading role within Westbeach. John Textor's obvious commitment to the snowboarding lifestyle provides great support for the vision we have always held for the Westbeach brand. If the first signs of this partnership are any indication, we'll have one hell of a party at the Westbeach Classic in the spring.”
Wyndcrest has also made significant investments in the areas of Internet enabling technology, Internet telephony, telecommunications, consumer products, restaurants, and real estate.