Equip buys Lowe Alpine

Outdoor name buys peer for undisclosed sum

UK-based Equip Outdoor Technologies has agreed to purchase the Lowe Alpine brand and all its associated assets for an undisclosed amount.

Equip has grown rapidly in recent years following the acquisition of the Rab and Podsacs brands. Following this latest announcement, the Lowe Alpine group of companies in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands will now operate as subsidiaries of Equip Outdoor Technologies.

Lowe Alpine was originally founded in Boulder, Colorado, USA in 1967. Latterly it has been in Italian ownership until last summer when its Italian banks forced its owners to seek ‘concordato’ protection from their creditors.

Lowe Alpine will now move back to the UK and its base in Kendal, Cumbria will once again become the company’s international headquarters where its current UK operations and the packs development team are based.

Equip Outdoor Technologies owner Matt Gowar said: “I have long admired Lowe Alpine, and it has been an inspiration to me during the 20 years that I have been working in the outdoor industry. I am delighted to become associated with one of the cornerstone brands of our industry.

“The current UK, German and Dutch management teams together with the packs and sales teams in the Kendal office will provide a great platform to spearhead the  growth of Lowe Alpine, returning it once again to its pinnacle position in the outdoors.

“We all feel very excited to have been able to secure the Lowe Alpine brand ahead of others who clearly wanted it, and we see an exciting future ahead for Lowe Alpine.”

David Udberg, the current Lowe Alpine UK managing director, will take over as head of sales and marketing for all Equip brands while the rest of the Lowe Alpine UK management team, consisting of financial controller Shona Taylor, head of packs development Martyn Hurn and sales director Dave Suddes, will continue in their existing roles. 

In addition to continuing to develop its world leading backpack line, Equip are intent on re-establishing the Lowe Alpine clothing line.

Chris Harding, managing director of Equip, will take over as head of design for Lowe Alpine, as well as all other Equip brands. Equip said the intention will be to keep the design and development of Rab and Lowe Alpine clothing completely independent of each other and to have a dedicated development team for each brand.

Harding said: “We think that there is a huge potential to develop Lowe Alpine clothing. It is probably the case that it lost its way a little over the last few years, but we are confident that we can build upon its great heritage to bring it back to being a formidable outdoor clothing brand once again. However, it is vitally important that both Rab and Lowe Alpine maintain their unique individuality with each brand having their own identities and positions in the market.”

Gowar, who is to return to the UK after three years in the US establishing the Equip American operation, concluded: “I have had a great opportunity to set up the first US office of a UK technical clothing company. I am now looking forward to this next challenge of re-establishing the Lowe Alpine brand.”