PR: Evolv acquired by Salewa

Evolv Sports has been acquired by Salewa North America and Oberalp Group. Outdoor Industry Business Brokerage Sell my business m&a

As part of our outdoor industry focus, Compass Advisors served as the sell-side transaction advisor to BRS & Co. in the sale of Evolv, a climbing and lifestyle shoe company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Evolv was acquired by the Italy-based Oberalp Group which owns Salewa, Dynafit, Pomoca, and Wild Country. The full press release is below. Congratulations to both companies, and we wish them the best as they climb to new heights together!

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OBERALP ACQUIRES EVOLV

The Oberalp Group, which owns SALEWA, DYNAFIT, POMOCA and WILD COUNTRY, has acquired EVOLV, the American climbing shoe brand from BRS Outdoor Holdings, an investment platform of BRS & Co. (“BRS”).

“The addition of EVOLV allows us to offer a complete solution for rock climbers when paired with our WILD COUNTRY brand, an international leader in technical climbing hardware," said Ruth Oberrauch, a member of the owner family of the Oberalp Group, explaining the acquisition of the brand.

With five brands focused sharply on mountain sports, Oberalp continues to position itself clearly in the broader outdoor market. "We only do what we understand and are enthusiastic about. And that is the mountain, even in the form of a climbing hall," said Christoph Engl, CEO of the Oberalp Group. "Our approach is focused on one theme – mountain sports. This is why the EVOLV brand fits so well into Oberalp's brand strategy. The acquisition of EVOLV – with a clear focus on climbing shoes and a leadership position in its segment – was a logical step.”

Oberalp plans to invest in the EVOLV brand for growth in its home markets of the US and Canada – and to use the strength of Oberalp’s international distribution to grow the brand in Europe and Asia. EVOLV’s technical climbing shoes and performance lifestyle products with a youthful, diverse, urban brand positioning set it up well for global growth, especially in the indoor climbing gym network that is expanding worldwide. With climbing set to become a new discipline in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the sport will continue to gain more exposure around the world.

EVOLV remains in Los Angeles

EVOLV is based in Los Angeles, California, and was founded in 2003 by Brian Chung. As the founder and long-time product manager, Brian will remain with the brand in L.A. and continue to play a crucial role in product and brand management. Brian will also continue to oversee EVOLV’s impressive athlete team. The brand boasts a strong and diverse group of athletes, including Daniel Woods, Kai Lightner, Ashima Shiraishi, Paul Robinson, Steph Davis, and Alex Johnson on the US team and many other global athletes.

“I am extremely honored and excited for EVOLV to become part of the Oberalp Group and look forward to strong global growth in the future. I have always had the highest respect for the Oberalp Group of brands for making industry-leading product and for the company’s commitment to sustainability which are values that EVOLV shares. In addition to our focus on creating the best climbing footwear, EVOLV will also continue in our mission to make a positive impact in the climbing community through our various initiatives and organizations that we support,” said Brian Chung.

“We are excited to work with Brian and the EVOLV team to elevate the brand at home in the US and Canada, as well as abroad. With the strength and momentum of the brand paired with the value that we can add through our existing infrastructure and team, there is great potential for EVOLV as the newest member of the Oberalp house of brands,“ said Drew Saunders, General Manager of Oberalp North America.

About The Oberalp Group

The Oberalp Group is a family-owned business based in Bolzano, Italy, that employs almost 700 people worldwide. Since 2007, Oberalp has had a North American subsidiary based in Boulder, CO, that runs the sales, operations, marketing, distribution, and service for the Group’s brands in the US and Canada.

About BRS & Co.

BRS is a New York based private equity investment firm with combined capital invested of $1.2 billion, focused on investing in lower middle market consumer goods and services businesses. Since 1996, BRS has purchased over 50 portfolio companies for aggregate consideration of over $6.9 billion. In addition, BRS portfolio companies have completed over 40 add-on acquisitions. For more information, please visit www.brs.com.

Semanoff Ormsby Greenberg & Torchia, LLC acted as legal advisor to BRS and Compass Advisors acted as the transaction advisor to BRS.