Zebco Brands acquires Vortex Outdoors

Category: press release

 Sep 12th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Sep 12th, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Zebco Brands acquires Vortex Outdoors Hunting backpacks, fishing gear and more provide market expansion TULSA, Okla.- Zebco Brands, a W.C. Bradley company, has acquired privately-held Vortex Outdoors, joining the longtime fishing category leader with a relatively young but fast-growing marketer of backpacks and gear for hunters, fly fishermen and avid outdoors enthusiasts. The purchased brands include William Joseph premier fly fishing gear, Badlands hunting equipment, Vortex backpacks, Black Ridge packs and Watermark fly fishing packs. Purchase price and additional terms of the sale were not disclosed.Founded in 1992 as Vortex Corporation, the Salt Lake City, Utah, company has evolved into a well-respected manufacturer of outdoor adventure products through a philosophy of bringing quality and design innovation into “previously stale and boring markets.” Vortex Outdoors was named among the state’s top 100 fastest growing companies in 2006 and 2007, based on sustained double-digit growth for numerous consecutive years. “This is a good match for both companies,” said Zebco Brands president Jeff Pontius in making the announcement. “Vortex has achieved success through product innovation and building enthusiasm around their brands, and we have the resources and support structure to help them take that momentum to the next level. We are thrilled to lead the way in the further development of brands and markets.”Pontius said Vortex will continue to operate from its present Salt Lake City location with the same personnel in place, including Vortex founder Bill Crawley. “To watch our brands grow like they have, especially over the past decade, and see what they have become today has been a truly remarkable journey. We couldn’t be more pleased to have what we’ve built become a part of the Zebco Brands family,” Crawley said. “This is a good decision for us, and we’re in the best of hands with the Bradley folks.” In July, Zebco changed its company name to Zebco Brands, hinting that it had intentions to expand its brand portfolio beyond just fishing. This is the first acquisition by the W.C. Bradley Co. business since then and serves as proof of the company’s interest in strategic diversification. “Vortex is a great fit to our long-term goal of expanding our presence in the active-outdoors markets,” said Bob Bagby, Zebco Brands vice president, marketing. “They took their high-end technical mountaineering products expertise and applied the same science to serving the larger hunting and fishing markets whose avid users are just as adamant about quality gear. Now there’s more excitement about what they have been doing with creative new designs in waders and ATV accessories. The outdoor industry will be pleased with this Vortex and Zebco Brands relationship.”###About Zebco BrandsA W.C. Bradley company since 2001, Zebco got its start in 1949 when oilfield accessory company Zero Hour Bomb Company in Tulsa, Okla., began production of a new closed-face spinning reel that “wouldn’t backlash.” Zebco Brands became the company name in 2008, allowing further growth in brands and products beyond just fishing. Today the company oversees many top brands manufactured for the active-outdoors industry, including Zebco, Quantum, Rhino, Martin, Fin-Nor, Van Staal, Cajun Line, Badlands, Williams Joseph and Vortex. About W.C. Bradley Co. The W.C. Bradley Co. (www.wcbradley.com), founded in 1885, is a privately owned company headquartered in Columbus, Georgia. It is a multi-brand supplier of high-quality consumer goods and services focused primarily on the home and leisure lifestyle markets. It is comprised of Char-Broil (Columbus, Ga.), W.C. Bradley Co. Real Estate (Columbus, Ga.), Zebco Brands (Tulsa, Okla.), Lamplight Farms (Menomonee Falls, Wis.), and the PGA Tour Stop (St. Augustine, Fla.).

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