Mountain Buggy's parent company Tritec went into receivership in January. Which had been preceded by layoffs of 25 of the company's 100 employees in December. Which had been preceded by a nearly 50% drop in production at the factory in Lower Hutt. Which had been preceded by a sharp one third drop in sales in the second half last few months of last year. Which had been preceded by unfortunately timed price hikes in the company's tank-like strollers, also the tanking of the global economy. And all of which was happening as Tritec's debt ballooned to over $22 million. [$NZ, that is. Around $12.4 million US.]
When Tritec went into receivership, Phil&Teds CEO Campbell Gower issued a somewhat douchey statement, "While it's true that the New Zealand buggy industry has halved overnight, our half is going absolutely gangbusters, just quietly; not to dance on their grave at all." Now that the deal was announced, Gower praised Mountain Buggy, saying his company has gained some really talented people, and that "phil&teds will run the Mountain Buggy factory in New Zealand before making any decisions. The key is to be internationally competitive."
Less dickish, to be sure, but it's still obvious they'll be cutting folks and shifting production to China as soon as they get a handle on things. Aha, here's a timeline mention: six months.
Meanwhile, now that he owns both halves of the local baby gear industry, Gower declared he's in the market for more acquisitions overseas. Stay tuned.
Hmm. Maybe they should start with Mountain Buggy UK, which is not included in the deal. Unless, of course, P&T plan to starve MBUK and distribute to Europe directly. Interesting.
Phil & Teds buys debt-ridden Mountain Buggy [nbr.co.nz via dainty baby]
Phil & Teds on lookout for more acquisitions [nbr]
Dutch court? Was MB Europe in the deal? Mountain Buggy UK assets frozen: Dutch court order [nbr]