Eastern Mountain Sports' Management Team Completes Buyout From American Retail Group

Sep 07, 2004, 01:00 ET from Eastern Mountain Sports

    PETERBOROUGH, N.H., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Mountain Sports
 announced today that it has completed a management-led buyout of the company
 from American Retail Group.  The buyout was led by Eastern Mountain Sports
 President and CEO, Will Manzer, with financing led by J. H. Whitney & Co.,
     With more than 80 retail locations, Eastern Mountain Sports outfits
 outdoor athletes and enthusiasts with authentic gear, clothing, footwear and
 accessories to participate in a variety of sports including mountaineering,
 kayaking, climbing, adventure racing, and others.
     "Customers of all experience levels trust Eastern Mountain Sports as their
 guide and community connection to outdoor fun and adventure," stated President
 and CEO, Will Manzer.  "With our new partners, we will continue to strengthen
 our unique retail model of serving outdoor athletes and enthusiasts.  Our
 offering will reflect our core outdoor values in an aspirational environment,
 thereby ensuring that the Eastern Mountain Sports brand embodies authenticity
 and adrenaline in the outdoors."
     "We are excited about our partnership with Eastern Mountain Sports and
 believe the Eastern Mountain Sports retail and brand experience is poised for
 tremendous growth," said Peter Castleman, Managing Partner of J. H. Whitney &
 Co.  "In less than a year as its CEO, Will Manzer has built an outstanding
 management team which is positioning Eastern Mountain Sports to be the most
 sought after brand and retail outfitter in the industry.  Whitney has provided
 significant capital in order to ensure that Eastern Mountain Sports continues
 to offer its customers the best products and services."
     Eastern Mountain Sports has a rich history as an authentic specialty
 retailer and distinguishes itself through offering grassroots programs,
 community clinics, as well as through its 36-year old Climbing School, which
 is the largest in the United States, and its Kayaking School.  This year,
 Eastern Mountain Sports launched the "Raise the Roof" tour, a grassroots tour
 that travels to sporting, cultural and goodwill events and encourages people
 to get outdoors.  The company also initiated the EMS Base Team, a roster of
 amateur athletes who test gear and act as brand ambassadors in their
 communities; "Team Eastern Mountain Sports," the company's first sponsorship
 of an adventure racing team; and the company created and conducted the "Stay
 Put, Stay Dry" program, a series of clinics on outdoor safety for children.
     About Eastern Mountain Sports
     Founded in 1967 by two New England rock climbers and based in
 Peterborough, NH, Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) is one of the nation's leading
 outfitters of authentic outdoor gear, clothing, footwear and accessories with
 more than 80 retail stores across 16 states.
     EMS designs and sells products for outdoor athletes and enthusiasts who
 participate in a variety of sports such as mountaineering, backpacking,
 camping, hiking, adventure racing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and
 snow sports.  EMS product and technology is tested by the EMS product
 development and quality assurance teams in conjunction with the EMS Climbing
 and Kayaking Schools across the country and in the company's backyard - Mount
     To locate EMS stores and EMS Climbing and Kayaking School locations, or
 for more information, call 1-888-INFO-EMS, or log on to http://www.ems.com.

SOURCE Eastern Mountain Sports