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Founder exits as Jack Wolfskin sold on

The man who “made Jack Wolfskin what it is today” is to step down as chief executive officer of the German outdoor clothing company following news it is to be sold to new owners.

Manfred Hell, one of the brand’s only remaining founders, who has overseen a doubling in sales in the past five years is reportedly leaving for personal reasons after 25 years at the helm.

Current owners Barclays Private Equity and Quadriga Capital announced yesterday they will sell to private equity firm Blackstone [pending regulatory approval].

Hell is known for his passion for the brand and as a fierce defender of the Jack Wolfskin logo, a yellow paw print.

Philipp Jacobi, chairman Jack Wolfskin’s supervisory board, said: “Manfred Hell made the company what it is today. We thank him and all his colleagues in the name of all shareholders for their outstanding work together.”

Already Germany’s largest sports retail franchisor and boasting four UK stores, the ownership change comes with a new phase of global expansion.  

Senior managing director at new owners Blackstone, Axel Herberg said: “Jack Wolfskin is an exceptional company and a unique brand. Blackstone is very experienced supporting successful and high-growth companies and will continue to drive the internationalisation and the successful strategy of Jack Wolfskin together with the management team.”

In 2009 the company, which employs 460 people, recorded sales revenues of £268.3 million (€304.2 million) in Europe, up 21 percent on the previous year.

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