Business news : Acquisition of Granite Gear Inc. to Bring Brand to New Heights
Granite Gear LLC (a newly formed division of BRZZ Gear LLC) lead by an investment team of outdoor and luggage industry veterans, has acquired the assets of Two Harbors, MN based Granite Gear Inc. and Granite Tactical Gear. Brand co-founders, Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank are excited to stay on board with the new management team to assist in taking the brand to new levels in the Outdoor and Travel Goods Industries.
Bryan Kinsley, CEO of Lake Forest, IL based Granite Gear LLC, has 30 years of sales and operational experience in the Outdoor and Travel Goods markets. Kinsley commented, “In putting together a list of criteria for our initial acquisition, the Granite Gear brand and team fit the bill perfectly. We see tremendous opportunities both domestically and internationally with the superior quality and heritage the brand exemplifies.”
Zee Zhuang will assume role of VP of Operations and she brings over 25 years of global business experience to the Granite Gear LLC team. She will spearhead the daily operations and factory relationships of the newly formed entity.
Rob Coughlin, who will hold title of Senior VP of Sales and Product Development, is a 2010 SGB 40 under 40 honoree. He has 20 years of executive level experience in sales and operations in the branded Outdoor, Back to School and Travel bag industry. He is pleased to join founders Knight and Cruikshank in leading Granite Gear into the future. Coughlin remarked, “We’re incredibly excited and humbled to be associated with an innovative and authentic brand like Granite Gear. In addition, we look forward to growing the brand while remaining true to the values that have kept the company in the marketplace for over 27 years.”
Design and manufacturing will remain in Two Harbors, MN. Knight remarked, "We feel great about the acquisition. After several meetings with the new team, we quickly felt like they were longtime friends. It really sealed the deal for us when it became clear they saw the value of our Northern Minnesota headquarters and our long-term team of dedicated and talented staff. We are all looking forward to continued growth and innovative developments with this influx of new leadership, experience and capital." Dan Cruikshank added, "Granite Gear has developed a reputation among hard-core outdoor enthusiasts for making rock solid and innovative gear and through the acquisition, we will have the resources to expand and build further on that reputation." Cruikshank will assume the role of Brand Ambassador, Knight will serve as the company’s Managing Director. Mike Cruikshank, co-owner and CFO will remain with Granite Gear LLC for a brief transition period and then he will retire after a rewarding 20 year career in the outdoor industry.
Granite Gear was born in the Boundary Waters in 1986 and has been bringing innovative products to the outdoor marketplace for 27 years. Our award winning backpacks, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, dog products and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear products are available in over 500 retail locations in 15 countries and worldwide at www.granitegear.com. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, Granite Gear has a rugged and pristine product testing ground like no other in the industry.
D.A. Davidson & Co. served as financial advisor to Granite Gear Inc. and Granite Gear Tactical in this transaction.