Leading German Brand to Join Forces with SCUBAPRO® and UWATEC®
RACINE, Wis. — JOHNSON OUTDOORS INC. (Nasdaq:JOUT) today announced it is adding the popular German brand, Seemann Sub™, to its portfolio of winning outdoor recreational brands. The family-owned and managed German company was acquired from Robert and Ella Stoss. The transaction, which closed on April 2, 2007, continues Johnson Outdoors’ strategic focus on acquisitions that complement its businesses, have market-leading potential and strengthen long-term profitability.
Seemann Sub™, founded in 1979, is one of Germany’s largest dive equipment providers, offering a complete line of dive gear for the price driven consumer. The acquisition enables Johnson Outdoors for the first time to go to market with a full range of innovative, quality dive equipment and gear representing the best value at every price point for the retail and rental channels. Over the next six months, the Company plans to relocate its existing SCUBAPRO® and UWATEC® business in Germany into Seemann Sub™ operations located in Wendelstein, Germany. The acquisition is expected to become accretive to JOUT earnings in fiscal 2008.
“Continuous innovation and strategic, targeted acquisitions are key to achieving our future growth vision,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson Outdoors. “Germany is the #1 dive market in Europe, and establishing a strong presence there is essential to returning our diving business to historic levels of profitability. As a result of this acquisition, overnight Johnson Outdoors has become one of the top three competitors in this important regional marketplace. The opportunity beyond Europe is even more exciting as we look to leverage the SCUBAPRO® global dealer network to expand distribution of Seemann Sub™ around the world.”
Seemann Sub™ was purchased by Robert Stoss in 1997 following a successful 10 year career with SCUBAPRO® during which he directed diving operations first in Germany and then in the United States. Stoss has been active in the diving industry for nearly three decades, and is currently the licensee of the new Scuba Schools International (SSI®) European Distribution Centre. Under his guidance, Seemann Sub™ has earned a reputation as an innovation leader in the price/value dive gear segment with products such as the SL400™ second stage regulator, and the new Extender™ dry suit which was recently featured among the top 2007 product recommendations by Unterwasser, a premier German dive publication. Stoss has entered into a special agreement to work with Johnson Outdoors in the future on a variety of diving product design, marketing and sales efforts apart from his current ventures.
Johnson Outdoors is a pioneer in the scuba diving industry known for innovative product firsts, such as: underwater breathing regulators; user-friendly, nitrox dive computers; and, patented split-fin hydrofoil technology. The Company commands the #2 position worldwide in an estimated $1 billion global retail marketplace and, with the addition of Seemann Sub™, is now a leading competitor in every major segment of the estimated $63 million dive market in Germany.