ARCATA, CA — In a move that will unite a group of the outdoor industry’s elite brands, WaterMark announced that it has signed a contract to acquire Yakima Products, Inc. As both companies are privately held, terms were undisclosed.
“WaterMark is delighted to announce that Yakima will join our group of premium brands”, said John Rukavina, WaterMark’s CEO. “Yakima is one of the strongest brands in specialty outdoor sports, posting three straight years of double digit growth. During that time, WaterMark has firmly established its leadership position in the kayak industry. The strengths of our respective R&D departments, management teams and East/West Coast logistics will present exciting new growth opportunities for our specialty dealers.”
Duncan Robins, Yakima CEO and an avid kayaker, sees a number of similarities between the two companies. “We have similar cultures. The people at both WaterMark and Yakima are passionate about outdoor activities, product innovation and the environment. Both our companies are located in places where their products are used to the limit. Yakima’s founders are paddlers and kayak racks were among our very first products. We even built footbraces for Perception in the 80’s”.
WaterMark, of Easley South Carolina, is the world’s leading paddlesports company with the Perception, Dagger, Islander, Mainstream and Harmony lines. Arcata, CA-based Yakima, the leading manufacturer of multisport car racks, has recently expanded their offerings to include cargo and child trailers for cyclists, as well as snowshoes, under their “Destination Hardware” initiative.
The deal is expected to close in late July. Each company’s existing management, location and sales staff will remain intact.