"After closing, PIEPS will be run as a semi-autonomous, discrete but closely-linked Black Diamond brand that we believe will benefit directly from our operational infrastructure that is similarly tailored to highly engineered, life-dependent products," continued Metcalf. "We also expect to grow PIEPS' sales in those markets and geographies covered by Black Diamond's global distribution platform. PIEPS has historically generated higher gross margin than a typical hard goods company and we expect that to have a positive impact on our overall average gross margin. PIEPS intellectual property, specifically its avalanche technology—including their paradigm-changing Global Finder—supports Black Diamond's continuing focus on developing our electronic technology and applications product portfolio. We believe that all of these factors make PIEPS an ideal acquisition for Black Diamond as we advance our strategy to become the world's most respected outdoor equipment and lifestyle company."
PIEPS' CEO Michael Schober commented: "The joint power of Black Diamond's global operational resources and PIEPS' leading alpine search and rescue technology creates a powerful platform for further product development. We believe that Black Diamond's existing and planned electronic products will be supported with our extensive technical experience developing and manufacturing avalanche beacons and other electronic devices. In Black Diamond, we are confident that we have found our ideal match to cultivate our brand and look forward to continue delivering premium alpine performance products."
All PIEPS products are designed and developed in its state-of-the-art facilities and are the result of close collaboration with top mountain guides and rescue teams, scientists and alpine security specialists, as well as major universities in Austria and Switzerland, such as the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research. PIEPS electronic products will continue to be manufactured by SEIDEL Elektronik, another member of the SEIDEL Group and a contract manufacturer of electronic products for over 15 years.
Renowned for its technological innovation, PIEPS is the recipient of many prestigious industry awards, including Gear of the Show at the summer 2012 Outdoor Retailer and the ISPO Outdoor Award in 2011. It also holds the distinctive ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9001 certification which defines the standard for quality management systems.
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