Published: December 2, 2021 | Updated: December 3, 2021

Osprey takes flight to a new owner but Poole-based MD says it will still be business as usual

Osprey’s carry products are known, respected and sold across the world.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A leader in creating innovative carry solutions, which has its European headquarters in Poole, has been sold to a global consumer products company.

Osprey has entered into a binding agreement to be acquired by Helen of Troy which counts Hydro Flask, OXO, Braun, Honeywell, Pur, Vicks, Revlon, Hot Tools and Drybar among its brands.

The company said that after 47 years of designing packs, Osprey’s Founder, Co-owner and Director of Innovation, Mike Pfotenhauer, along with his wife, Co-owner and board member Diane Wren, had decided to retire and sell the company.

Helen of Troy was chosen because they felt the team was committed to long-term ownership and stewardship of the brand and also held reverence for creative, innovative design.

Scott Pfotenhauer, Osprey Chairman, said: “Helen of Troy understands that to build a strong, long-lasting brand you need to do right by your customers, employees, community, and planet.

“I believe the blend of these companies will be a powerful force in the outdoor industry for years to come.”

Layne Rigney, President and CEO, will join Helen of Troy and continue to lead Osprey.

Osprey employs more than 270 people including 60 at its European headquarters at Talon House in Aston Way, Poole.

Jonathan Petty, Managing Director, pictured, said: “The bottom line is that Osprey will continue to operate business as usual.

“Helen of Troy is acquiring Osprey because they believe in who we are, what we’ve built, and where we are going.

“We don’t anticipate any major changes to the course we’ve plotted and our shared vision for the future.”

Mike Pfotenhauer said: “They won’t mess with the secret sauce that has worked for Osprey for almost 50 years.

“Osprey will continue to do what it does best: design and build outstanding products for the next 50 years and beyond.”

Julien Mininberg, CEO of Helen of Troy, said: “Osprey packs have been serving my family on countless adventures all over the world for more than 20 years.

“Their excellence and durability made the decision to purchase additional Osprey packs an easy one as our need for technical and everyday packs grew.

“Even when small repairs were needed, Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee was there to take care of us, reinforcing my belief that behind every bag was a gem of a company.”

In addition to Osprey’s product design and industry leading product warranty, Helen of Troy said it was impressed by Osprey’s design centre in Vietnam, and its strong factory partnerships.

Osprey Europe’s headquarters in Poole.

Mr Mininberg added: “We welcome Osprey to our family of brands.

“With strategic investments in marketing, in its website, in further developing Osprey’s direct-to-consumer business, we look forward to helping steward the brand’s growth and making it an even more central part of lives of outdoors enthusiasts.”

Mike Pfotenhauer will consult for Osprey for the next year, finishing the design projects he is currently working on.

Osprey was founded in 1974 and is based in Cortez, Colorado, in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains.