You may recall that back in September this article told us that Fox Head was for sale. Fox, as you know, sells action sports and motocross apparel and accessories. You probably also recall that former DC Shoes Global President Nick Adcock, who was on the board of directors at Fox, took over as CEO on February 18th, when he replaced founder Geoff Fox’s son Pete. According to the article, the company has revenues of $230 to $240 million but is not profitable.
Now, though we have no details, we learn that it’s been acquired by Altamont Capital Partners. This is interesting on a couple of levels.
First, Altamont now owns or at least has investments in Brixton, Dakine, Fox Head, HUF and Mervin Manufacturing. That is quite a gaggle of action sports/outdoor/street wear/fashion businesses. Are these just opportunistic buys or is there a plan here? That is, will each continue to run independently, or is there enough overlap in markets and manufacturing to justify some coordination? Maybe Altamont is looking to build the next VF. I hasten to add that’s complete speculation on my part. Still, it does feel like there’s been a recent focus on this market by Altamont.
Second, we know that at some point (I can’t find out when) Fox founder Geoff Fox made his son Pete CEO. We further know that on February 18, 2014, Pete Fox resigned and Nick Adcock became CEO. That must have been a hard conversation for Geoff Fox to have with his son, but he gets respect for doing it.
Seven months later, or maybe sooner for all we know, the company is for sale and it’s reported that it’s not profitable. Now the sale to Altamont has closed, or is about to.
Shop-Eat Surf reported that Fox “CFO Bill Bussiere has been named CFO for Billabong Americas, according to Billabong CEO Neil Fiske.” They also report that Nick Adcock is departing, but I don’t officially know that. It will be particularly interesting to see who the new CEO is.
Transworld Motocross said that Pete Fox was “…likely returning to head the brand.” We’ll see. As CEO, he has some responsibility for the company experiencing losses that apparently required its sale (regardless of whether it’s his “fault” or not). One wonders if Altamont will want him as CEO.
I’ve done some turnaround work with family owned and run businesses. My drop and cover reflex is kicking in on this one. I’d be intrigued to know who owned how much of the stock and when Geoff Fox decided selling made sense. And if I could get a peek at the balance sheet, I’d die a happy man.
Oh well, probably the best I can hope for is to corner one of the principals in a bar at a trade show. I’ll buy.