BARE sports (dba of Fitzwright Company, Ltd. of Surrey, BC, Canada), one the North America’s largest manufacturers of drysuits, wetsuits and survival suits, has been acquired from SUUNTO by Huish Outdoors. Huish Outdoors according to the press release is “an emerging United States company in the outdoor sports industry.” They are also said to be, “building a portfolio of outdoor products companies.” Surprisingly for this day and age, they seem to currently have no overt internet presence. Even the domain name “Huish.com” is listed as for sale. Huish is based Salt Lake City. The CEO is Mark Fredrickson and the namesake and president is Mike Huish. Mike is the son of Dan Huish who is known for building a billion dollar, private label detergent company from scratch that he later sold to Unilever.
The SUUNTO ownership of BARE may be confusing for US readers because SUUNTO dive computers are marketed in US by Aqualung and by BARE in Canada. SUUNTO is owned by Finnish based AMER Sports. There was talk about about selling BARE as far back as December 2009. When AMER officially decided to sell BARE it was offered to BARE management. However they were unsuccessful in completing the deal during negotiating phase.
BARE staff we spoke with seemed to be honestly excited about the purchase and feel it will offer them an “opportunity to grow the brand at an unprecedented rate.” On a recent tour of the BARE plant, we were very impressed with BARE president Geoff Power’s and the entire staff’s passion for innovation and quality. Part of the excitement is likely due to the fact that in the past BARE was somewhat of a small fish in AMER’s big ocean of companies such as Salomon, Wilson, Atomic and Arc’teryx.
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