Black Diamond Equipment Relocates European Headquarters and Appoints Tim Bantle to Managing Director

SALT LAKE CITY and REINACH, Switzerland, Jan. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Diamond Equipment®, a global innovator in climbing, skiing, mountain sports equipment and apparel, and a brand of Black Diamond, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDE) (the “Company”), has enacted several strategic initiatives at its European headquarters.

As part of a comprehensive global restructuring initiative, the Company has appointed Tim Bantle to managing director of Black Diamond Equipment’s European operations. He will be responsible for all aspects of the European business, reporting to COO of the Company and Black Diamond Equipment’s President Mark Ritchie. Bantle was previously responsible for product, sales and marketing for Black Diamond Equipment at the Company’s global headquarters in Salt Lake City.

“We believe that Europe represents a primary market opportunity for our brand,” commented Bantle. “Growing our presence and deepening our market share in core businesses will be the main focus for Black Diamond Equipment in future seasons. We will seek to reinforce our global leadership in climbing, while focusing on the emerging gym climbing customer. Additionally, we expect to continue to develop our lighting business and innovate in core product categories such as ski, snow safety and apparel for climbers, alpinists and backcountry skiers.”

Bantle will lead a four-person management team including Craig Foster, Georg Hoffberger, Stephan Hagenbusch and a sales director still-to-be-named. Foster, currently in the role of director of MIS, has been appointed to director of operations and IT and will now be responsible for Black Diamond Equipment’s European activities in IT, logistics, warranty and customer service. Georg Hoffberger will join Black Diamond Equipment from PIEPS® and will serve in the position of director of finance for Black Diamond Equipment’s European operations.

As part of the restructuring in Europe, the Company plans to strategically shift from a geographic and category sales management model to a distribution and channel-focused model. To support this evolution, Hagenbusch has been appointed to director of strategic accounts and marketing. He will be responsible for driving business with pan-European strategic accounts, while continuing to oversee marketing strategy for Europe. The still-to-be-named director of sales will manage all of Black Diamond Equipment’s European sales agents as well as in-house sales representatives.

Bantle continued: “This new organizational structure is expected to enable us to address the diverse needs of our wholesale customers. We believe that it will allow us to provide a high level of service for our retail partners, including specialty, chain and online, while further developing our brand across the Company’s entire distribution network.”

Black Diamond Equipment will also move its European headquarters from Basel, Switzerland to Innsbruck, Austria.

“We are proud to call Innsbruck home,” commented Bantle, who has led product, sales and marketing for the Company since 2014 and will now manage Black Diamond Equipment’s European operations. “Innsbruck’s proximity to our largest markets and ecosystem of mountain and action sports companies makes it an ideal location and primary market opportunity for the Company. Innsbruck is an international mountain sports destination and a vibrant university city that provides access to world-class climbing and backcountry skiing for our employees.”

Black Diamond has important infrastructure and supporting businesses already located in Austria. These include PIEPS®, a sister company based in Lebring, and a dealer service and warranty team based in Salzburg. The Company also produces skis through a partner manufacturer in the region. In addition, the region is home to key company sponsored athletes like Tyrolian climber Babsi Zangerl and skier Thomas Gaisbacher.

The Company is actively recruiting staff for the new office, with 35-plus jobs across sales, marketing, customer service, operations and finance. The new office is expected to be operational in May 2016.

About Black Diamond, Inc.

Black Diamond, Inc., through its ownership of Black Diamond Equipment, is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing and a wide range of other year-round outdoor recreation activities. Our principal brands, Black Diamond® and PIEPS™, are iconic in the active outdoor and ski industries, and linked intrinsically with the modern history of these sports. Black Diamond Equipment is synonymous with performance, innovation, durability and safety that the outdoor and action sport communities rely on and embrace in their active lifestyle. Headquartered in Salt Lake City at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, our products are created and tested on some of the best alpine peaks, slopes, crags, and trails in the world. These close connections to the Black Diamond Equipment lifestyle enhance the authenticity of our brands, inspire product innovation and strengthen customer loyalty. Black Diamond Equipment's products are sold in approximately 50 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit our corporate website at, as well as or

Forward-Looking Statements

Please note that in this press release we may use words such as “appears,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “future,” and similar expressions which constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are made based on our expectations and beliefs concerning future events impacting the Company and therefore involve a number of risks and uncertainties. We caution that forward-looking statements are not guarantees and that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results of operations or financial condition of the Company to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, the overall level of consumer spending on our products; general economic conditions and other factors affecting consumer confidence; disruption and volatility in the global capital and credit markets; the financial strength of the Company's customers; the Company's ability to implement its reformation and growth strategy, including its ability to organically grow each of its historical product lines, the ability of the Company to identify potential acquisition or investment opportunities as part of its redeployment and diversification strategy; the Company’s ability to successfully redeploy its capital into diversifying assets or that any such redeployment will result in the Company’s future profitability; the Company’s exposure to product liability or product warranty claims and other loss contingencies; stability of the Company's manufacturing facilities and foreign suppliers; the Company's ability to protect patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights; fluctuations in the price, availability and quality of raw materials and contracted products as well as foreign currency fluctuations; our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards; and legal, regulatory, political and economic risks in international markets. More information on potential factors that could affect the Company's financial results is included from time to time in the Company's public reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based upon information available to the Company as of the date of this press release, and speak only as of the date hereof. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.

Company Contact:
Warren B. Kanders
Executive Chairman
Tel 1-203-552-9600

Investor Relations:
Cody Slach
Tel 1-949-574-3860

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Source: Black Diamond, Inc.