Black Diamond, Gregory sold

Whoa. This seems out of left field.

Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., the Salt Lake County-based developer and manufacturer of climbing and backcountry skiing equipment, has been sold for $90 million to Clarus Corp., an investor group in Stamford, Conn.

Clarus also spent $45 million to acquire Gregory Mountain Products LLC, a Sacramento-based company whose specialization in technical backpacking and mountaineering products is expected to complement Black Diamond’s gear for rock climbers, ice climbers, Alpinists and freeride skiers.

The combined company will retain the Black Diamond name, and Black Diamond co-founder and CEO Peter Metcalf will become its president and CEO, and be on its board. A Clarus Corp. note to shareholders about the acquisition said nothing about what the deal means for Black Diamond’s plant at 2092 E. 3900 South or the company’s employees.

The Economic Development Corp. of Utah categorizes Black Diamond as being within a group that employs 100 to 249 people.

Metcalf praised the deal in a statement, contending Clarus’s investment will ensure “the golden years of Black Diamond are not behind us but clearly ahead.”

Hopefully the acquiring company’s capital can be put to use for R&D and other quality enhancing activities as opposed to just being another buyout with intentions of squeezing every last dime of margin out of the product and a race to the bottom for quality.

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