Rossignol Reinforces Apparel Business Strategy by Welcoming Sandbridge Capital as an Investor
PRESS RELEASE – While the French iconic brand prepares to develop new opportunities in the textile sector, Sandbridge Consumer Fund I, L.P is taking a minority stake in the Rossignol Group.
Strong Support for the New Development Phase of Rossignol
The leading winter sports company Rossignol Group embarked last year in a new development phase aimed at growth opportunities built around the success of its core activities. While Rossignol’s manufacturing and marketing of winter sports equipment has outperformed the market worldwide and remains a global leader in the ski industry, the company is now looking to capitalize on that momentum with a bold new apparel initiative.
Sandbridge Capital is taking a minority position alongside majority shareholder Altor (“Altor Fund III”), the Nordic investor with valuable experience in the outdoor sector and textile field. Other current shareholders include French investment company Weber Investment, the Boix-Vives family, the historic owners of the Rossignol Group from 1955 to 2005, and the management team, including its CEO Bruno Cercley.
Rossignol is the owner of six leading winter sport brands; Rossignol and Dynastar skis, Look bindings, Lange boots, Kerma poles and Risport figure skates. Rossignol, headquarted in Moirans, France, generated close to EUR 230 million in turnover in 2013 and employed roughly 1,200 people. The company plans to create a dedicated apparel subsidiary to centralize all textile-related activities.
Sandbridge to Provide Strong Apparel Sector Expertise
Sandbridge Capital, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, invests exclusively in the branded consumer retail and services sector, and was formed with backing from a group of retail and fashion industry icons. Among its senior advisors are former Gucci Group CEO Domenico De Sole, former Crocs CEO Ron Snyder and designer Tommy Hilfiger, who is an investor in the Sandbridge fund through his Star Branding Group.
Domenico De Sole, the legendary former CEO of Gucci and current Chairman of Tom Ford remarked, “Rossignol is a great heritage brand with tons of potential in the apparel sector.”
Bruno Cercley, CEO of Rossignol declared, “As an iconic brand with an anchored French identity, Rossignol has great potential and an ambitious strategy. Sandbridge provides valuable support on two key aspects. Firstly, its strong expertise will contribute to our efforts in developing lifestyle collections for all 4 seasons of the year, not only winter. Secondly, its deep retail industry network is a real asset, especially in North America. Leveraging Rossignol’s steeped tradition, we intend to develop a leading fashion brand oriented around our longstanding ethos of high levels of innovation and design.”
David Fife, Managing Partner of Sandbridge, said, “Rossignol is positioned to capitalize on its global recognition as the longtime leader in winter sports, with its apparel offering representing an opportunity to quickly emerge as a leading sportswear inspired lifestyle brand. We are excited to work with Rossignol to provide the growth capital and partnership necessary to elevate the brand to its full potential and help play a role in bringing the iconic rooster back to the forefront of the global fashion community.”
PRESS CONTACT Rossignol Group : Mathieu Collet firstname.lastname@example.org / +33 6 11 08 19 93
About the ROSSIGNOL Group: The Rossignol Group, headed by Bruno Cercly, designs, manufactures and markets a broad range of sliding winter sport equipment. The global headquarters are located in the French Alps near Grenoble and houses a portfolio of strong and complementary brands with Rossignol, Dynastar, Lange, Look, Risport and Kerma. The different brands have built their own identity and draw their inspiration from their mountainous environment.
Rossignol: since 1907 Rossignol has been the iconic brand for winter sports. Rossignol designs and produces a wide array of hi-tech equipment and clothing both for amateurs and experts in Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and Snowboarding. Rossignol can draw strength from its unique expertise, its long tradition of breaking new ground and its close relationship with the greatest champions to mastermind a full range of hi-tech products. Our vision of winter sports is focused on the intense joy that comes from skiing or snowboarding, and the shared pleasure of experiencing unforgettable moments. The Rossignol brand is promising to give all skiers “Another Best Day”, to ensure that everyone’s time in the mountains is as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, where the mountain is seen as a never-ending source of great thrills and intense pleasure.
Dynastar is the specialist ski brand that offers dedicated skiing enthusiasts hi-tech products delivering ultra-high performance for a demanding and exciting experience in the mountains. Founded in the shadow of Mont Blanc in 1963, Dynastar celebrates 50 years of commitment and passion. At the heart of Chamonix Mont-Blanc valley, the worldwide mecca for skiing and alpinism, the Dynastar brand is a reference for high-mountain, freeride, adventure and ski touring enthusiasts. Dynastar champions such values as authenticity and commitment, and invites all skiers to set their sights high and live their passion to the fullest.
Lange: For the last 50 years, Lange has been creating boots for the greatest alpine skiing champions and helping them bring home their haul of medals. Lange is the very embodiment of excellence, high performance, competition and technical expertise, and has naturally carved its status as the gold standard in the high-end segment. Combining precision, control and comfort, Lange offers an unrivalled level of skiability recognized by skiing’s elite.
Look, the long-standing binding manufacturer based in Nevers, France, has been blazing a trail since its inception in 1951. Synonymous with safety, high performance and precision, Look has been a contributory factor, year after year, in the success of the biggest names in alpine skiing, freeriding and freestyling thanks to its legendary «Pivot» binding.
Risport has been a reference in ice-skates for over half a century. Based in Montebelluna, Italy, this emblematic winter sport brand prides itself of being characterised by its technology, passion and professionalism.
Kerma, born at Mont Blanc’s footsteps and specialized in ski poles, this brand has been responsible for a number of important innovations such as pole safety straps. For over 50 years, Kerma has been developing lighter, stronger and more durable poles for all skier types.
Since inception, the family of Altor funds have raised some EUR 5,8 billion in total commitments. The funds have invested in excess of more than EUR 3.1 billion in more than 40 companies. The investments have been made in medium sized Nordic companies with the aim to create value through growth initiatives and operational improvements. The aggregated turnover of the current portfolio companies is more than EUR 20 billion and the companies have more than 30 000 employees. Among current and past investments are Apotek Hjärtat, Carnegie, EWOS, Wrist Group, Helly Hansen, Dustin and Byggmax. www.altor.com
About Sandbridge Capital
Sandbridge Capital is an investment firm that makes growth-equity investments in middle market consumer brands. The firm serves as the general partner of Sandbridge Consumer Fund I, L.P. (the “Fund”). Sandbridge sits at the fulcrum of a myriad of iconic brands, their founders and respective family offices. Our specialized industry concentration allows us to best utilize our core operational expertise and leverage our industry relationships. We invest across consumer focused verticals, including but not limited to: retail, apparel and accessory brands, health beauty and wellness, consumer durables/products, food and beverage.