Altamont Capital Buys Fox Head As Pete Fox Rejoins The Firm
News broke yesterday that Fox Head is set to be bought by Altamont Capital Partners, as San Francisco-based investment firm. This left many people asking the question, “What does this mean for the future of the company?” Today we received official word on the takeover and the good news for anyone worried about where the company is heading is that the Fox family will still retain a “significant” stake in the business and Pete Fox has been hired the Chief Creative Officer – in other words, the man in charge of their product lines and the company image. It’s also clear that their ambitions for the company are in the action sports market, it sounds like we’re not going to see the company watered down into a lifestyle brand.
Here is the official word on the takeover:
Altamont Capital Partners (Altamont) today announced it is leading a majority recapitalization of Fox Head, Inc. (Fox), the number one global motocross equipment, apparel and accessory brand. The current owners of the business, the founding Fox family, will continue to own a significant minority interest in the company. The transaction is expected to close in the next 7-10 days.
In addition to Altamont and the Fox family, the shareholder group participating in the deal includes Ricky Carmichael, the most successful motocross rider of all time and Fox athlete since 1988; Carey Hart, freestyle motocross legend and Fox athlete since 1997; and Hybrid Apparel, which will also become a strategic supply chain partner to the company. Fox will continue to operate as a private, independent company out of its headquarters in Irvine, California.
“With deep roots in motocross history, the Fox family has built a strong, authentic brand that consumers trust and respect, proven by decades of success,” said Keoni Schwartz, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Altamont Capital Partners. “Altamont is thrilled to have the opportunity to apply our expertise to help Fox continue to grow and reach its longer-term goals.”
The Fox brand was founded by Geoff Fox in 1974 as a distributor and manufacturer of high-performance motocross parts and within three years boasted a top-ranked professional motocross team. Hand-selected by Geoff Fox, the team’s apparel became increasingly popular with fans, leading to Fox’s emergence as a successful player in the U.S. motocross apparel industry. Fox is now the most recognized and best-selling brand of motocross apparel, boots and accessories in the world. The brand has since expanded its activities into MTB, BMX, surf and wakeboarding and has become an international leader in action sports.
“I have never been more optimistic about the future of the brand or the business,” said Geoff Fox, Founder of Fox Head, Inc. “We’re excited to work with Altamont as we prepare for a new chapter in our story. I’m confident that Altamont’s strategic advice and relevant experience guiding brands to reach their full potential will allow Fox to strengthen its business while preserving the integrity of the brand.”
Today Fox also announced changes to its management team, including the appointment of Pete Fox as the company’s Chief Creative Officer. Additionally, Nick Adcock, CEO, and Bill Bussiere, CFO, will leave the company to pursue other opportunities. Scott Olivet, who will be Executive Chairman on an ongoing basis, will become Interim CEO while executive searches are underway. Olivet has extensive experience in the action sports industries, having served as VP of Nike Subsidiaries, where he led the acquisitions of Hurley and Converse; as the CEO of Oakley Inc.; and as a current Director of Skullcandy. He is also an Operating Partner at Altamont Capital Partners and serves as Chairman of the Board of Dakine, Mervin, HUF and Brixton.
“I want to thank Nick Adcock and Bill Bussiere for their leadership, focus and accomplishments in helping to build a solid business. I wish them well on their next endeavor,” said Geoff Fox. “With Pete rejoining the team and a partnership with Altamont to support the ambitions of the business, Fox is poised for a very bright future.”
“The Fox team has done a tremendous job the last few years weathering a challenging market and positioning itself for the future,” said Scott Olivet. “The Fox brand is authentic and relevant across a number of action sports so we are in the enviable position of being able to choose from a range of growth opportunities. But it’s clear that building on our leadership in motocross will always be our first priority. We will be focused on gaining leadership in product categories where we are not currently number one, increasing the pace of innovation for our consumers, and harnessing our innovation, technologies and athlete and brand stories to serve the market in a compelling way. I’m honored to be part of what Geoff, Greg, Pete, Josie, Anna and John Fox have built over 40 years and to help write the next chapter of success.”