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Magellan’s joins up with Colorado firm

By   /   Thursday, December 1st, 2011  /   Comments Off on Magellan’s joins up with Colorado firm

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Magellan’s Travel Supplies, a Santa Barbara company with a global footprint in the travel products business, is merging with Colorado Bag’n Baggage of Denver.

The combined company will be headquartered in Denver and will be part of the retail and outdoor holding of the Gart Companies, one of Colorado’s largest family owned businesses. The two companies will operate independently, and current CEO Mark Gallo will continue to run Magellan’s, according to a Dec. 1 press release. The value of the merger wasn’t disclosed.

Magellan’s strength is in its selection of luggage and gadgets that solve travel headaches – from its business-class foot pillow for airplane rides to an RFID-blocking wallet for identity theft protection – and its massive catalog mailing list. It has been majority owned by Sverica International, a private equity firm, and reported revenue of $30 million for 2011. It has about 100 employees and has stores in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica.

By contrast, Colorado Bag’n Baggage, owned by Gart Capital, is a more retail-oriented operation. It has more than 30 stores located in nine states including Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, California and Hawaii, according to the release. Tom Nelson will remain CEO of Colorado Bag‘n Baggage.

The release said the merger would create a way for Magellan’s to expand its product lines and distribute them online and via a larger group of retail stores. “Our private label products that solve travel challenges have become part of our signature, and now we can bring them to a wider audience through Colorado Bag’n Baggage stores,” Gallo said in the release.

Magellan’s was founded in 1989 by former Pan Am employees John and Gloria McManus, whose innovative products and sense of style quickly built a large catalog following that now totals 1.8 million. Colorado Bag’n Baggage was formed in 2008 via the merger of companies in Colorado and Texas under the Gart umbrella.

“We think this merger is a game changer for both companies,” Ken Gart, partner with Gart Capital, said in the release announcing the deal. “The two businesses compliment each other well, and we plan to build on those synergies to elevate both brands to higher awareness.”

The Gart Companies are a multi-generational family business that operated a regional chain of sporting goods stores that’s now part of Sports Authority. The family has become involved in specialty retail operations and has real estate holdings in Colorado.

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