Monday, May 5, 2014

Good Move For Kayak Fishing


     On April 22nd,  the news spread like wild fire around the paddle sports community about the acquisition of the formerly named Confluence Watersports by a private equity firm (J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, LLC). Confluence is the parent company to many brands of kayaks and paddles, including Wilderness Systems Kayaks. Being a fan of Wilderness Systems myself, I have taken a close interest in this story. From what I've read on local fishing forums and talking to close friends, the consensus is that this will be a mutually beneficial partnership for both companies. Confluence Watersports has been newly renamed Confluence Outdoor, which suggest to me that they will be extending their reach into a variety of outdoor sports and activities. 

     Still, there have been those that question if the new owners will have the best interest in mind of the customers and the products that we have grown to love. I recently ran across an interview in Kayak Fish Magazine with Confluence Outdoor CEO, Sue Rechner. I encourage you to check out the interview. 

     The impression that I got from the interview and from other related articles that I've read, is that J.H. Whitney has nothing but good intentions for acquiring the company. Confluence will be branching out into new areas of paddling, such as SUP's. They are going to continue their advancement of the sport of kayak fishing with new innovative products and designs to be released this year. I am excited at the thought of this large company investing in a sport that I have so much passion for. Another great part of this will be the inevitable growth of jobs within the company. One question that did quickly arise, was whether or not the company would remain in its current location in Greenville, S.C. The answer is simply, yes. There will be no changes to the current operations or facilities. Being made in the USA is a huge selling point for a lot of customers and I'm glad that will not change. 

     I am excited to see what Confluence Outdoor will produce in 2014 and, I want to thank J.H. Whitney for backing a great company that wants to take our sport to the next level.

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