MEC Sold to US Private Investment Company

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Today we mourn the loss of iconic Canadian outdoor equipment retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op. After several years of financial challenges, including currently being under creditor protection, MEC has been sold to Los Angeles based Kingswood Capital Management. The sale received unanimous approval from MEC's board of directors as the best available option to preserve the co-op as an outdoor retailer and retain as many jobs as possible. MEC member Canadian Eric Claus will lead Kingswood's new Canadian Affiliate.

MEC presently has 22 stores, and anticipate this will have to be reduced to around 17. As well, expect to see changes in product offerings and reductions in range of products sold. For paddlers, climbers and other participants in niche sports with low volume sales, we should expect this change of product lines, especially in hardware, will be significant.

MEC dividend cheques and gift cards will be honoured during the transition period. However, prudent shoppers will be pulling them out of the drawer and using them ASAP.

From online chatter, many long time Co-op supporters sound not happy about the change to a US-based for-profit company. However, the alternative was likely a going-out-of-business sale. If you do want to express your displeasure by cashing in your $5 share, you will have to make a claim as a general creditor.