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acorneau


May 13, 2010, 8:30 AM
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Re: [Alpinisto] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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Alpinisto wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
With sosures posts, I predict this will go 4 more pages easily:-)

If you keep quoting his entire posts it sure as hell will! Tongue


No, it will just result in a PTFTW.


k.l.k


May 13, 2010, 8:57 AM
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Re: [caughtinside] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
agdavis wrote:
fitzontherocks wrote:
Isn't Black Diamond employee-owned? Wonder how employees feel about this.

If Black Diamond were truly employee-owned, then they were obviously fine with it. Companies that say they are employee-owned because they give them a tiny bit of stock options don't give employees say, and I highly doubt that the employees actually think they own a significant piece of the company.

It's a way for metcalf and the top guys to cash out and still retain their jobs for a couple years while new guys transition in, then the old guys can retire on their mountian of cash. The rank and file guys... well no one gives a hoot about them. Lots of them got laid off in the last 3 years anyway.

As far as I can tell, it's just a cash out and exit for the top guys. Look who bought them... its a shell company. They don't do anything, they just have lots of money and buy companies. And they're touting that body armor thing they built... which was rife with defective products, going to soldiers in Iraq. Sweet.

The other possibility is that BD was in deep trouble and had little choice.

Either way, it's a disaster. This is a sport and a community where reputation is supposed to mean something. You don't take North America's most storied and respected hardware concern and yoke it to a fat cat best known for running a war-time monopoly on defective military goods.

Remember, this company started with an anvil, a hammer and a picnic bench in the Tetons, Yosemite, and wherever else Yvon parked his truck. From RURPs to the curved-radius ice axe, Chouinard was one of the most important makers of the 1960s and 1970s.

Now, that heritage will be forever linked to the hillbilly armor scandal.


sungam


May 13, 2010, 9:18 AM
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Re: [k.l.k] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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k.l.k wrote:
this company started with an anvil, a hammer and a picnic bench in the Tetons, Yosemite, and wherever else Yvon parked his truck. From RURPs to the curved-radius ice axe, Chouinard was one of the most important makers of the 1960s and 1970s.

Now, that heritage will be forever linked to the hillbilly armor scandal.
My only hope is that everyone stops buying BD, then these chaps sell it off quickstyle to cut their losses, and some worthwhile company buys it. Imagine a Trango/BD or Metolius/BD merger! *geargasm* [/wishfull thinking]


sbaclimber


May 13, 2010, 9:26 AM
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Re: [sungam] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
Imagine a Trango/BD or Metolius/BD merger! *geargasm* [/wishfull thinking]
Um...actually...wouldn't that be a bad thing!?
Remember, competition is a good thing in a perfect economy Cool


sosure


May 13, 2010, 9:48 AM
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Re: BD Sold! [In reply to]
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I am reposting a comment I left to the news announcement on the rc.com homepage here. I apologize for so many lengthy posts, but I feel quite strongly about this issue and I have a background in mergers and acquisitions that I think gives me a different (and clearer) perspective on the implications of this transaction as compared to typical climber. Even if others ultimately disagree with me, I think its important, from a safety perspective, that everyone have the relevant facts and develop an informed opinion. The highlighting below is new and partially based on the recommendation of K.L.K (thanks)
================

Fluxus asks (me) why Metcalf would agree to this merger. My guess is that this was the only available option or perhaps the highest bidder. Metcalf wants to expand BD significantly and he can't do it with the current, limited, capital structure and his partners (it turns out that less than a dozen people own more than half of this "employee owned" company) aren't willing to commit more equity or publicly list the company -- they want or need out, now. They sold for $90 million, or roughly revenues. Most of the items sold by BD are fairly high margin, and there are some that are huge: headlamps, trekking poles, softgoods are all high volume, high margin products. My guess is that after they get done paying interest to Zions and Credit Suisse (they have some debt) there isn't a whole lot of income left over to buy patagonian ranch houses with. I would further bet that Kanders sold Metcalf on the idea that even though Kanders is the controlling owner, he will be a totally hands off guy and let Metcalf run the company however he likes. As hugepedro and rockgirlCo point out, Metcalf is a guppy. He who pays the piper calls the tune and Kanders knows only one song: roll and flip.
So I'm upset about this deal, upset about where it leaves the climbing community (with one less real manufacturer), and upset at the selling partners in BD for not finding a less problematic buyer or listing the corporation themselves and hanging on for a few more years.
Let me make something else clear: there are lots of Wall Street/Private Equity corps that could have been acceptable buyers for BD. Sure, I'd prefer that the company continue under the ownership of climbers/former climbers, but I also know there are some benefits to being publicly listed, especially if you have big growth plans. The problem here is that the dance partner BD came up with is very possibly the worst conceivable choice: Kanders is a war profiteer who has a demonstrated track record of delivering defective life-saving equipment (body armor) to the US Military (who have stringent purchasing standards) AND a further record of demonstrating extreme callousness for his customers well being (refusal to accept a _blank check_ from the military to license the specs for Humvee armor plating because it would adversely affect his company's "competitive position").
In the short term things may look up at BD, they will roll out goods in new product categories, they will acquire some smaller companies and help bring their products to market quicker etc.., the problem is that all of this is ultimately aimed at producing three or four quarters of exceptional growth to induce some other buyer to come in and buy them out at an inflated price. When that time comes (between 5-10 years from now, the plan is "roll and flip", not "quick flip"), and no one but Kanders will know when that time is, everything will take a backseat to gaining maximum value for the shareholders (Kanders being shareholder numero uno). Relying on their products will be gambling with your life.

Finally, you ask why K has been sitting on his capital for 8 years if he's a quick flip artist. He's hasn't been, he's been sitting on a pile of mostly other people's capital and paying himself big bonuses the whole while. Kanders took control of CLRS in 01/02, I believe. In 02 he owned 1.6X million shares. Between July and December 08 he acquired 1.4X million shares between roughly $3.75 and $5 and before the transaction he owned 3.2 million. K&S will receive a further 3.75 million shares (plus $22.5 million of company debt) for Gregory. Why didn't he buy something into the Clarus shell before? Don't know exactly. Could be he's patient. He waited for a market crash and now that the market appears to be emerging, he's buying something. If you look at his track record with Armor Industries, he's a very smart investor. That's a nice skill to have, he might also be a very genial, affable person. Whatever his virtues or vices may be, he's not someone I will purchase critical safety equipment from.


sungam


May 13, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Re: [sbaclimber] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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sbaclimber wrote:
sungam wrote:
Imagine a Trango/BD or Metolius/BD merger! *geargasm* [/wishfull thinking]
Um...actually...wouldn't that be a bad thing!?
Remember, competition is a good thing in a perfect economy Cool
Yeah, but Mastercamalots are good for my rack.


sbaclimber


May 13, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Re: [sungam] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
sungam wrote:
Imagine a Trango/BD or Metolius/BD merger! *geargasm* [/wishfull thinking]
Um...actually...wouldn't that be a bad thing!?
Remember, competition is a good thing in a perfect economy Cool
Yeah, but Mastercamalots are good for my rack.
Hmmm.....can't argue with that Laugh


tallnik


May 13, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Re: [sungam] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
DMM Dragons could not have come out at a better time...

Damn straight... f***ing merger Mad


acorneau


May 13, 2010, 12:37 PM
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Re: [sosure] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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sosure wrote:
I apologize for so many lengthy posts, but I feel quite strongly about this issue and I have a background in mergers and acquisitions that I think gives me a different (and clearer) perspective on the implications of this transaction as compared to typical climber.

Career spray?!?

Laugh

Just messing with you Sosure. Thanks for your contributions on this topic.
Cool


mr.tastycakes


May 13, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: [sosure] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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Nice posts sosure. Are you a M&A lawyer? (and if yes, need a junior associate?Wink)


james_va


May 13, 2010, 6:46 PM
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Re: [mr.tastycakes] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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I find myself agreeing with a toned-down version of sosure's assessment, largely based on Metcalf's minimal entity ownership going forward. It's either lack of faith on Metcalf's part or indicates that Metcalf was a beggar, and not a chooser, in this deal.

Much as we attack Kanders, there are and always will be Kanderses out there. It seems a little cheesy of Metcalf to select Kanders -- notably, someone known for overseeing a safety-equipment company that skimped on safety -- but maybe he no longer cared, was desperate and took the highest offer regardless of details, felt it was his fiduciary duty in some way to the few other shareholders, etc. It seems strongly possible that BD was troubled.

One positive: Whereas military contracts are transacted very infrequently, BD's products are sold through thousands of individual purchase decisions every day.

In other words, if BD carabiners start breaking, not only will little BD get slapped with huge lawsuits for its size (and recall costs), but the consumer market will respond by pulling away, quickly. If the climbing media were to have the guts to run stories on this (BD is a big advertiser), the damage could be even worse given climber's staunch bias against unseemly corporate-type behavior. (Or even big corporations: How many people reading bought Reebok climbing shoes?)

A company with pending litigation/settlements and upset consumers would absolutely kill Kanders' plans for a lucrative exit. I have to think that he's fully aware of this.



billcoe_


May 14, 2010, 5:48 PM
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Re: [james_va] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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1 word for the graduate: Clothing. (cough*patagonia* Cough*

What the real climbers are saying about this: http://cascadeclimbers.com/...cs/957964#Post957964


jcrew


May 14, 2010, 7:22 PM
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Re: [climbist] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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climbist wrote:
Quote from Clarus Corp. "Based in Stamford, CT,

...

that's where maury moved his show, also. coincidence? i think not

BD sold out? Metolius anyone?


guangzhou


May 16, 2010, 5:41 PM
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Re: [jcrew] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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If the company does decide to get rid of all hardware and focus on software, they will sell the patents to make a quick buck. The product will continue, just under another company name.

personally, I don;t care about the company name. I buy the gear I like best. If Camelots get made by another company, the other company would get my money.


acorneau


May 16, 2010, 5:49 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
personally, I don;t care about the company name. I buy the gear I like best. If Camelots get made by another company, the other company would get my money.

What if the guys who got fired from Gear4Rocks for drinking too much on the job formed a company and started making the Camelots?


Tongue


cal32


May 16, 2010, 6:04 PM
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wow wonder if the employees wanted this


bill413


May 16, 2010, 7:03 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
If the company does decide to get rid of all hardware and focus on software, they will sell the patents to make a quick buck. The product will continue, just under another company name.

personally, I don;t care about the company name. I buy the gear I like best. If Camelots get made by another company, the other company would get my money.

For me, the company name provided a proxy for quality. So, the brand Chounaird/Black Diamond was a factor in my purchase decisions. Yes, certain products are such that it wouldn't matter a whole lot who made them (aliens anyone?), but for many otheres, the stamp of a company with good QC was a factor.


guangzhou


May 16, 2010, 7:07 PM
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Re: [bill413] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
If the company does decide to get rid of all hardware and focus on software, they will sell the patents to make a quick buck. The product will continue, just under another company name.

personally, I don;t care about the company name. I buy the gear I like best. If Camelots get made by another company, the other company would get my money.

For me, the company name provided a proxy for quality. So, the brand Chounaird/Black Diamond was a factor in my purchase decisions. Yes, certain products are such that it wouldn't matter a whole lot who made them (aliens anyone?), but for many otheres, the stamp of a company with good QC was a factor.

I agree, a company history is helpful. I for one have had my Aliens for years with no issues.

A patent for Camelots would most likely be bought by an existing climbing company.

Of course, I still like wired bliss, so what do I know.


adatesman


May 16, 2010, 7:21 PM
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davidnn5


May 16, 2010, 7:45 PM
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Re: [adatesman] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
A patent for Camelots would most likely be bought by an existing climbing company.

If, of course, it hadn't expired a couple years ago. IIRC they still have an active patent on something to do with the stem (single piece of wire with both ends terminated in the head) and perhaps something to do with the axial profile of the lobe, but the whole dual axle thing is up for grabs at this point (see: Dragons).

And Gear4rocks, funnily enough. Which I'm still considering buying for doubles.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...;hash=item3efe68f9f5


Partner j_ung


May 17, 2010, 5:21 AM
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Re: [billcoe_] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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billcoe_ wrote:
1 word for the graduate: Clothing. (cough*patagonia* Cough*

What the real climbers are saying about this: http://cascadeclimbers.com/...cs/957964#Post957964

One of the "real climbers" attributed my post to kachoong and took what was obviously a joke seriously. Personally, I'm yet again surprised at how much peoples' perception of what something "means for climbing" differs from my own. I believe this means precisely nothing for my climbing, and I suspect that, despite the hemming and hawing, it's the same for most everybody here. Keep doing what you're doing, and I bet you (in the universal sense) won't ever notice a single difference at the crag.


mojomonkey


May 17, 2010, 5:44 AM
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Re: [billcoe_] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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billcoe_ wrote:
1 word for the graduate: Clothing. (cough*patagonia* Cough*

What the real climbers are saying about this: http://cascadeclimbers.com/...cs/957964#Post957964

Is there a term for linking to your own post on another site without directly saying so? Better still, referring to the source with superlatives? Posturbation?

Good to know you think of yourself as a "real climber". Or maybe you meant the follow ups: a useless "good job!", wild speculation, and talk about beer/wine? That part does sound like real climbers...

Maybe I should have posted this comment on gunks.com and linked it here. "Hey guys, I think this sage, well-endowed poster has some relevant comments!"


bill413


May 17, 2010, 6:40 AM
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Re: [mojomonkey] BD Sold! [In reply to]
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mojomonkey wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
1 word for the graduate: Clothing. (cough*patagonia* Cough*

What the real climbers are saying about this: http://cascadeclimbers.com/...cs/957964#Post957964

Is there a term for linking to your own post on another site without directly saying so? Better still, referring to the source with superlatives? Posturbation?

Good to know you think of yourself as a "real climber". Or maybe you meant the follow ups: a useless "good job!", wild speculation, and talk about beer/wine? That part does sound like real climbers...

Maybe I should have posted this comment on gunks.com and linked it here. "Hey guys, I think this sage, well-endowed poster has some relevant comments!"

Where's the link?


sidepull


May 17, 2010, 7:16 AM
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mojomonkey wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
1 word for the graduate: Clothing. (cough*patagonia* Cough*

What the real climbers are saying about this: http://cascadeclimbers.com/...cs/957964#Post957964

Is there a term for linking to your own post on another site without directly saying so? Better still, referring to the source with superlatives? Posturbation?

Good to know you think of yourself as a "real climber". Or maybe you meant the follow ups: a useless "good job!", wild speculation, and talk about beer/wine? That part does sound like real climbers...

Maybe I should have posted this comment on gunks.com and linked it here. "Hey guys, I think this sage, well-endowed poster has some relevant comments!"

+25.7


kachoong


May 21, 2010, 11:48 AM
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j_ung wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
1 word for the graduate: Clothing. (cough*patagonia* Cough*

What the real climbers are saying about this: http://cascadeclimbers.com/...cs/957964#Post957964

One of the "real climbers" attributed my post to kachoong and took what was obviously a joke seriously.

Bwahahaaa! Now that's funny, mate! I guess trolling other sites is in fact possible without even trying.

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