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June 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Endless Acquisitions of Scuba Businesses

from the June, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Remember old favorite brands like U.S. Divers, Spirotechnique, Uwatec, Dacor, and Seaquest? They all got swallowed up in acquisitions along the way and eventually disappeared. There are fewer and fewer small businesses manufacturing diving equipment now.

American Underwater Products (Pelagic, Oceanic, Aeris, Hollis) brought up both the Prism rebreather business of Peter Readey and Kevin Gurr's Explorer rebreather business in recent years.

The Canadian drysuit company, White's, fell into bed with Scubapro for a while before becoming a company within Aqualung's remit.

Aqualung's parent company, the French gas giant Aire Liquide, bought the British brand, Apeks, and set it alongside its Aqualung brand -- and now both have been sold and are trading independently.

Suunto became part of Amer Sports. HTM took Mares, and, most recently, the training agency SSI, under its control. Mares also absorbed the Belgian rebreather manufacturer, rEvo, last year. And, as we reported in the last issue, even PADI has changed hands recently and appears to be no longer affiliated with any diving magazine. Is this in preparation for a tie-up with a manufacturer?

Now Huish Outdoors, already the owner of Atomic Aquatics, Bare, Stahlsac, Liquivision, Sharkskin and Zeagle (and marketing Suunto in North America), has purchased AUP brands Oceanic and Hollis. Bob Hollis previously sold the Pelagic computer division of AUP to Aqualung.

Some speculate that the rebreathers might still be manufactured and sold by Hollis Rebreathers as a separate company, to separate potential legal liability from the main group.

Perhaps the good news for consumers might be that one should be able to find all these brands at the same dive store -- if it is one that does business with Huish Outdoors.

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