Snowboard maker Mervin sees growth following sale for $51.5 million
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Zach Fraser, one of the 209 employees at Mervin Manufacturing’s Carlsborg plant, sands an almost-finished snowboard Monday. The company hopes to expand its operations after being sold to a capital for $51.5 million. — Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

CARLSBORG –– Already employing 209 people at its North Olympic Peninsula snowboard plant, executives with Mervin Manufacturing expect more growth since the company was purchased by an equity firm for $51.5 million.

Seattle-based Mervin was sold by surf apparel company Quiksilver to Extreme Holdings, part of San Francisco-based private investment firm Altamont Capital Partners, last month.

Mervin designs and manufactures snowboards under the Lib Tech and GNU labels out of its 50,000-square-foot plant in the Carlsborg business park.

The handmade boards are popular worldwide and are used by competitors in Winter Olympics, including the Games to be held Feb 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

Officials with Mervin Manufacturing said the purchase will allow them to expand the Carlsborg plant at 155 Business Park Loop as well as the company's overall production lines.

“We are very excited about our new partners, and looking forward the opportunity to chase our goals and continue to build on the solid foundation we have built,” said Pete Saari, who founded Mervin with longtime friend Mike Olson.

The company's Carlsborg plant — the “snowboard making capital of America” — also makes surfboards, skis and skateboards.

The plant will continue to make Roxy snowboards, bindings and skateboards for Quiksilver under a separate agreement.

Mervin was founded by Olson and Saari in a barn outside Tacoma at the forefront of the snowboarding movement in 1977.

Quiksilver purchased Mervin 16 years ago.

The plant off Carlsborg Road just north of U.S. Highway 101 has operated since 1996.

Their hope, Saari said, is that the partnership with Altamont will help the company keep its Carlsborg operations going strong long into the future.

“We are super-duper excited to be on this new path with Altamont, who shares our board sport passion and enthusiasm for thinking outside the box to advance new disruptive technologies within our industry and beyond,” Olson said in a Mervin news release.

Mervin's sales last year were around $32 million, CEO Ryan Hollis told the Puget Sound Business Journal.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: November 18. 2013 7:12PM
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