Jack Wolfskin GmbH & Co KGaA, Germanys dominant outdoor vendor and largest franchisor of specialty stores, was acquired last week by the multi-billion Blackstone Group from private equity firms Quadriga Capital and Barclays Private Equity.


While the transaction is still subject to approval by the regulatory authorities, Blackstone named a former Puma executive as CFO and said it is recruiting candidates to replace Jack Wolfskin’s longstanding CEO Manfred Hell with an executive who has the international experience it needs to direct its expansion plans in Europe and Asia.

While Blackstone did not disclose terms, Reuters quoted sources Thursday morning who estimated the purchase price was about €700 million, or $994 million. In 2009, the company recorded sales revenues of €304.2 million in Europe, up 21 percent on the previous year.

“Jack Wolfskin is an exceptional company and unique brand. Blackstone is very experienced supporting successful and high-growth companies and will continue to drive the internationalization and the successful strategy of Jack Wolfskin together with the management team,” said Dr. Axel Herberg, senior managing director at Blackstone in Germany.

Hell, who was commended by Jack Wolfskins board for his 25 years of leadership, will leave the company. The board said it is expects to replace him within weeks.

Pending that hire, CFO Christian Brandt will become chief operating officer and oversee the operations. From Oct. 1 onward, his position as CFO will be taken over by Andreas Klotz, who will strengthen the company with his international experience. Klotz has been in charge of finance at Puma AG for many years and had been a member of the board of an international company in the fitness sector recently.


Markus Bötsch will remain chief sales officer and continue to be responsible for sales. Bötsch has been with the company since 1991, Brandt since 1997.