This was posted by Peter Metcalf (the CEO, president and Co-Founder) on the Black Diamond website today. Head over here to check out a great article by www.gear.com who takes a more in-depth look at the sale and merger of BD.

 

Dear Black Diamond Employees, Friends and Colleagues:

This is a milestone day for Black Diamond. When we founded this company, we wanted to build great products to maximize the enjoyment and safety of the sports we love so much. More, we wanted to build a company that reflected, respected, and championed our lifestyle and values as climbers & off-piste skiers. Though you never arrive at your destination,  we are proud of what we have accomplished and the style in which that has been achieved. Together, we have built a truly special, global company and I would like to take this moment to express my most heartfelt thanks all of the employees, friends, customers, vendors, and consumers that have helped us along the way.

Authenticity is a word that gets thrown around a lot. For it to actually mean something, which it does at Black Diamond, we live and breathe the sports we represent and reflect that in our business practices. We approach business like we do climbing.  As you can appreciate, there is precious little room for error in either. When we climb, we learn to make careful choices, act as a team, proceed purposefully, realistically assess risk, and ensure that we are protected against it. At the same time, we know how to maintain focus and, when necessary, to act decisively and aggressively to make progress. We constantly adapt to the route in front of us. That we approach our business the same way is no accident.

Today, we have a new route and new summit to tackle. I am incredibly pleased to announce that Black Diamond is entering into a transaction with Clarus Corporation that will simultaneously make us a public company and merge the operations of Gregory Mountain Products with Black Diamond. Gregory is a great brand and business that I’m sure you are also familiar with.  The rest of the executive team at Black Diamond and I will continue our roles, but with the added challenge and responsibility of growing the business as a public company. For nearly 30 years I have led the growth of this company and it’s predecessor from a sub $1million/year business to one that continues to grow at a double digit rate, surpassed $92million in annual revenue in the past 12 months, and has double digit growth in Fall’10 bookings.  Over those nearly 30 years the mantra has been to build a beautiful and respected “built to last company”. As of 2010 we have achieved nearly every component of that approach other than the capital structure and the backstop for management, especially myself. With this deal, the last pieces of that global, built to last, foundation are being put into place. We are all really excited for that.

Clarus Corporation is a public company with no operations but strong financial resources. They have been searching for a long time for the right business to help build and we feel most fortunate to have connected with one another. After the deal closes, which should be sometime in June, Clarus expects to change its name to Black Diamond Equipment. The managers of Clarus and owners of Gregory, Warren Kanders and Rob Schiller, will provide us with guidance and financial support. Their track record is outstanding. Most recently, they built and operated Armor Holdings, a company that designed and built a wide variety of personal protection and safety equipment.

What is not changing? Our commitment to our mission vision and values, and our efforts to help write the stories of the sports and the communities which inspire us. This shared passion is the universal Esperanto that connects us with fellow climbers & skiers no matter where we are.  We view this new route in front of us as not only a method to growth, but as a collaborative effort through which we will strengthen and expand the way we do business and our community of fellow users.

For those of you who have been around awhile this is not the first time we have stood in front of you and spoken about big change. In November 1989 we spoke about our vision for a future together and a business model driven by the ethos of our sports, lifestyles and culture. We would like to believe that the last few decades have validated that vision and our commitment to it. Looking forward at yet another clean undone line, BD remains more committed then ever to that vision. We understand that the future will be the only arbitrator and that talk at this point is just that, talk. You should have been here yesterday is now you NEED to be here tomorrow. Let the future be our judge.