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K2, Marker, Volkl- For Sale!

    Winter sports brands K2, Marker, Volkl, Full Tilt, Line and Ride to be sold by owner Newell Brands

International consumer goods company plans to sell or close most iconic brands in skiing by Jan.

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International consumer goods company Newell Brands Inc. on Tuesday said it would sell its winter sports businesses, including some of the most iconic brands in snowsports: K2 Sports, Volkl, Marker, Ride snowboards, Line and Full Tilt.

Reshaping itself after merging with Jarden Corp. to create a $15 billion company, Newell Brands is looking to shed about 10 percent of its company, which, in addition to the winter sports stable, includes tool brands like Irwin and Lenox and its storage container brands like Rubbermaid. Jarden spun off from Broomfield-based Ball Corp. in 1993.

Newell Brands said the for-sale assets contributed about $1.5 billion in revenue in 2015. Newell will still oversee dozens of other consumer brands, like Paper Mate, Ball Corp., Oster, Sunbeam and Mr. Coffee.
Newell this spring acquired Jarden Corp., which had acquired K2 Sports and its Marker, Marmot, Rawlings, Sevylor and Volkl brands in 2007. Shortly after that deal, Newell Brands chief executive Michael Polk announced he would reshuffle the company’s portfolio and shed under-performing brands. In September he told investors that he planned to “rapidly exit” companies he could not sell, promising a leaner company by Jan. 1.

“Ideally I would like to sell these assets versus simply walk away from them,” he said at the Barclay’s Consumer Staples Conference in Atlanta. “Some of them are the kinds of businesses that would be difficult to sell and therefore, we should just shut down because they create no value for you and they are a distraction for us.”

So that leaves less than three months for Newell to find a buyer for K2 Sports, one of the most recognized brands in skiing. Hints that changes were afoot emerged last month when K2 began quietly jettisoning its top athletes, like Colorado’s Seth Morrison.

In 2013, K2 Sports acquired Boulder’s Backcountry Access, a pioneer that has developed some of the most respected avalanche safety gear in the industry. The BCA brand has continued to thrive under the partnership with K2, developing a leading line of avalanche airbag packs and developing in-depth avalanche safety research.
The K2 Sports stable includes not only K2 Skis and K2 Snowboarding but snowshoe makers Atlas, PowderRidge, Tubbs and Little Bear, snowboarding brands Morrow and 5150, running shoe maker Zoot and venerable cross-country ski company Madhus.


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