Marquee Brands, a brand management company whose portfolio includes names such as Bruno Magli, Ben Sherman and Body Glove, has acquired the Dakine brand and the related intellectual property. It has also entered into a long-term license agreement with JR286, a product design company based in California that has acquired the operating assets of Dakine. It will become Marquee Brands' long-term operating partner for the brand.
Founded on Maui's North Shore in 1979, Dakine is currently based in Hood River, Oregon, and Annecy, France. It makes snow, surf and biking bags, backpacks, gear and accessories. Over time, Dakine has developed a global following and today generates an equal amount of sales in North America and Europe.
Marquee Brands and JR286 said they will maintain dedicated teams for the brand in Hood River, Los Angeles and Annecy. Ken Meidell, Dakine's current CEO, will be joining Marquee Brands' team.
Frank Heissat is expected to continue as general manager of Dakine for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Marquees Brands' management said that the group's vision is to intensify Dakine's focus on producing high-quality products for its snow, surf and bike customers while also pushing the brand to explore exciting and uncharted waters, trusting that JR286 will help realize Dakine's full potential.
Founded and run by Jonathan Hirshberg, JR286 is a 29-year-old company specializing in product design, development, sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution of athletic, fitness, and outdoor equipment and accessory products. In addition to a proprietary brand of sun care, Vertra, JR286 has a long-standing, exclusive global license with Nike covering hundreds of sports related accessories and equipment under the Nike and Hurley brand names. It has operations in North America, Europe, China and Southeast Asia.
Sponsored by Neuberger Berman Private Equity, Marquee has a growing brand portfolio that currently generates more than $1.5 billion in retail-equivalent sales. Synergies can be expected between Dakine, Hurley and Body Glove, another action sports brand that Marquee acquired in November 2016.
The price paid by Marquee and JR286 for Dakine could not be learnt. Dakine was owned by Billabong International until 2013, when it was sold to a San Francisco-based private investment firm, Altamont Capital Partners, for 70 million Australian dollars (€44.3m-$50.3m). One year later, after Altamont and VF Corp. failed in an attempt to acquire the whole Billabong business, Dakine moved its European head office from Hossegor on the Basque Coast of France to Annecy, close to the Alps, as part of the company's move to rebuild its mountain-related snow and outdoor operations.
Dakine had to disentangle its operations from those of the Billabong group and to hire staff to build up its own European office, establishing functions such as customer service, product development and design as well as marketing and finance.