PORTLAND, Ore. (March 13, 2003) – Outdoor apparel and footwear leader Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq: COLM) announced today that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Mountain Hardwear Inc. for aggregate consideration of approximately $36 million, including approximately $30 million in cash and $6 million of debt assumption. The merger is subject to approval by the shareholders of Mountain Hardwear and is expected to close on March 31, 2003.
Mountain Hardwear designs, develops and markets the most technically advanced equipment and apparel available to outdoor enthusiasts and professionals, many of whom are icons in the global mountaineering community. Mountain Hardwear, which is based in Richmond, Calif., recorded an unaudited $31.4 million in revenue during 2002. Upon closing, the company will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear.
Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle commented, 'By acquiring Mountain Hardwear, we continue to build a dynamic portfolio of strong outdoor brands. We are committed to upholding Mountain Hardwear’s brand integrity and authenticity for the benefit of its intensely loyal consumer base. Mountain Hardwear will continue to operate as an independent brand.
'Backed by Columbia’s financial strength and operating expertise, the Mountain Hardwear brand provides Columbia the opportunity to profitably increase sales by up to $100 million over five years. Our growth strategy for Mountain Hardwear includes further penetrating high-end specialty retailers, expanding its current product offering, expanding international distribution, and selectively broadening retail distribution of its products consistent with its specialty store heritage and authentic brand and consumer base. Over time, we plan to integrate sourcing and distribution functions, which should provide us with the opportunity to increase efficiencies and expand gross and operating margins for both companies.'
Mountain Hardwear President Jack Gilbert, Vice President of Design and Sourcing Paul Kramer, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Wallenfels will remain executive leaders of the company they founded in 1993. Mountain Hardwear’s employees, many of whom were also involved in founding the company, will remain at the company’s headquarters in Richmond, Calif.
'We needed a corporate partner who agreed that pushing the limits of what is technically possible is the essence of our success, and who is committed to fueling that vision,' said Gilbert. 'This transaction marks a significant milestone in the development of our business, and gives us the opportunity to continue building the Mountain Hardwear brand on a global scale. Columbia understands the unique value, positioning and integrity of the Mountain Hardwear brand, and together we are committed to providing leading edge apparel and equipment to outdoor enthusiasts and professionals.'
RBC Capital Markets represented Mountain Hardwear in the merger.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including Tim Boyle’s statement regarding Columbia’s opportunity to profitably increase sales by up to $100 million over five years, and statements made by Tim Boyle and Jack Gilbert regarding future integration of operations, profitability, and growth. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in these and other forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2002 under the heading “Factors That May Affect Our Business and the Price of Our Common Stock,” and other risks and uncertainties that have been or may be described from time to time in other reports filed by the Company, including reports on Form 8-K, Form 10-Q, and Form 10-K. In addition, we may be unable to successfully and cost-effectively integrate Mountain Hardwear into our existing business, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Although forward-looking statements help provide complete information about the Company, investors should keep in mind that forward-looking statements are inherently less reliable than historical information. We do not undertake any duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release, to conform them to actual results or to changes in circumstances or expectations.
ABOUT MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR INC.
A small group of outdoor industry veterans founded Mountain Hardwear, Inc. in 1993 to design, source and market high-end outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories. Having won numerous product and customer service awards since inception, the company now distributes its products through specialty outdoor and sporting goods retailers in the United States and in 25 countries worldwide. For more information about Mountain Hardwear, please visit www.mountainhardwear.com.
ABOUT COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR COMPANY�
Founded in 1938 in Portland, Ore., Columbia Sportswear Company� is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel and footwear. As one of the largest outerwear brands in the world and the leading seller of skiwear in the United States, the Company has developed an international reputation for quality, performance, functionality and value. To learn more about Columbia Sportswear and the Sorel brand, please visit the Company's Web site at www.columbia.com or visit www.sorel.com.
Investor contact: Sean Beers
Media contacts: Sarah Stephan
970-871-1308 (Steamboat office)
510-558-3000 (Richmond office)