Feb 28, 2011
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Outdoor specialist Wolfskin attracts bidders

Feb 28, 2011

Feb 25 - Final bids on the sale of German outdoor apparel and equipment maker Jack Wolfskin are due in the next couple of days and a deal could close as early as April, three sources familiar with the process told Reuters.

Jack Wolfskin

A handful of companies are expected to hand in bids, the sources said.

U.S.-based jeans maker VF Corp, which also owns outdoor brand The North Face, is among the bidders.

Blackstone is one of the only private equity firms still involved in the process after BC Partners and Advent pulled out of bidding, the sources added.

Jack Wolfskin is being sold by Barclays Private Equity and Quadriga Capital which have owned the business since 2005's secondary management buyout of the company from Bain for 93 million euros.

The sellers hope for a price tag of 600 to 800 million euros, the sources said.

Last year, Jack Wolfskin saw sales increase by 21 percent to 304 million euros.

According to an industry source the company posted roughly 20 million in profit.

The market for outdoor equipment has been growing at a fast pace since the 1990s, but is still dominated by midsize players like German brands Schoeffel and VauDe or U.S.-based Patagonia.

Sporting goods maker Puma -- majority owned by French luxury and retail group PPR -- recently said it had no interest in Wolfskin. Though being interested in buying companies with turnover of up to 500 million euros, Wolfskin "is not on our shopping list," Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said last week.

Peer Adidas is also not in the race.

Jack Wolfskin, its owners and the bidders declined to comment.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Philipp Halstrick; additional reporting by Christian Kraemer, Alasdair Reilly, Isabell Witt, Nivedita Bhattacharjee)

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