Finally, Jack Wolfskin has changed ownership after a couple of months of negotiations with various bidders. As indicated before, Blackstone, the private equity firm, is taking over the “Paw.” The price being paid was not disclosed, but unconfirmed reports indicate that it might be around €700 million. In the previous round of bidding, the reportedly interested companies, including Otto Group, VF Corporation and others, were not willing to put more than €600 million on the table.
Along with the takeover by Blackstone, Jack Wolfskin will undergo a major shakeup of its long-serving top management. Manfred Hell, the company's chief executive for around 25 years, will step down from his duties. The company said it was for “private reasons” that its officials declined to specify.
Hell is known for having taken long holidays in exotic places during his tenure, and probably he will be doing more that in the future. According to unconfirmed rumors, he had a share of around 10 percent in the company, so it is safe to say that Hell walked away from the Paw with a nice fortune.
A new CEO will be appointed shortly. In the meantime, the company will be led by Christian Brandt, the longtime chief financial officer, who has been promoted to chief operating officer. His successor in his former position is Andreas Klotz, a former Puma executive. Markus Bötsch, the chief sales officer, will stay in that position.
Apparently, Blackstone will leave members of the top management with some shares in Jack Wolfskin. Bötsch and Brandt should keep some of them, while it still has to be defined in the weeks to come if and to what extent Klotz and the new chief executive will hold shares as well. The company declined to give a precise breakdown for the shareholding under the new ownership. Bötsch has served for the company for two decades; Brandt joined in 1997.