Clarus Corp., the parent of Black Diamond, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held S.K.B. Corporation (SKB), a manufacturer of protective cases, for $85 million in cash and 1.15 million shares of Clarus common stock.

SKB will continue to operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Clarus.

Headquartered in Orange, CA and Founded in 1977 by Steve Kottman and Dave Sanderson, SKB designs and manufactures molded polymer transport cases engineered for a diverse range of equipment. SKB’s products, known as “SKB Cases,” are used across industries including consumer, sports, electronics, healthcare, music, photography, industrials, and the music industry.

In 2019, SKB generated $53 million in sales and more than $9.5 million of adjusted EBITDA.

The addition of SKB will extend the company’s “innovate and accelerate” brand strategy focused on the go-to-market process across a more diversified user portfolio. Under Clarus, SKB will have the scale and resources as well as access to Clarus’ robust relationships and channels to market. The acquisition is expected to further strengthen Clarus’ leadership in the outdoor and consumer industries while providing access to new channels.

John Walbrecht, president of Clarus, said, “We regularly evaluate potential acquisitions to add to and complement our portfolio, and SKB is a perfect match. We believe that the acquisition of SKB presents a compelling opportunity to extend our brand formula over a broader base and advance our strategy of growing both organically and through accretive, value-enhancing transactions.”

Walbrecht added, “With a more than 40-year history of producing some of the best transport cases in the world, SKB is uniquely aligned with our super-fan brand strategy. We believe our financial scale and proven sales and marketing expertise will enable us to accelerate SKB’s growth and reach. Immediately following the closing of the transaction, we intend to expand SKB’s domestic footprint in core markets, as well as internationally, and lean into SKB’s strong network of distributors and dealers. We are excited to welcome the SKB team to the Clarus family of brands.”

Kottman and Sanderson said, “When we founded SKB in 1977, we set out to create world-class transport case products for musicians and entertainers. After four decades, we have developed a deep heritage and a loyal user base, which we have expanded into a variety of other industries. Together with Clarus, SKB is poised for a new phase of growth. We are excited to partner with a company that shares our commitment to innovation and has a proven track record of growing successful brands across categories, channels and regions. We know that Clarus will continue SKB’s legacy of crafting products with the superior design and engineering that our customers have come to expect and trust.”

Warren Kanders, chairman of Clarus, said, “SKB is an important addition to our strong portfolio and advances a core component of Clarus’ disciplined capital allocation strategy, which includes opportunistically acquiring brands with leading product market share and significant awareness among core consumers. We look forward to building on and accelerating SKB’s growth through product innovation, excellent execution and disruptive marketing to drive superior returns for the brand and Clarus shareholders.”

The transaction is expected to close in April 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Following the closing of the transaction, the SKB management team will continue to run the business from SKB’s headquarters in Orange, California.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Clarus’ portfolio of brands includes Black Diamond, Sierra, PIEPS and SKINourishment.

Photo courtesy SKB