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Sportswear company Skins files for bankruptcy

Compression sportswear manufacturer Skins has filed for bankruptcy in a Swiss Court, according to a blog post published by chairman Jaimie Fuller on the company’s ‘Water-cooler’ site last week.

A trustee will be appointed to assume responsibility for the company with almost immediate effect, he wrote.

Fuller attributed Skins’ demise to many contributing factors and mistakes he said he has made along the way. The original mistake, he said, was the decision to sell a portion of the business to private equity to get through the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

Describing it as a “lousy deal”, Fuller said he borrowed heavily to buy back the stake after the GFC was over, but the debt became unsustainable.

“[While] we have been working for some time now to try to avoid what is happening today, in the end there was no choice,” he wrote.

Fuller said he was “enormously regretful” about the situation and thanked the staff and partners who he said worked “diligently, astutely, loyally, tirelessly to bring the Skins brand to life in every way”.

The Skins brand is expected to live on under new ownership, and customers will still be able to buy products, according to the blog post.

Skins was started in 1996 by Australian amateur skier Brad Duffy. It is now headquartered in Switzerland and sells online in 31 countries around the world.

Fuller acquired Skins in 2002 and positioned the brand around “changing the world through sport”. Skins was outspoken on the issue of drugs in sport, FIFA’s hypocrisy in supporting a World Cup build on the back of migrant labour and homophobia and gender inequality.

“We worked to help bring sport back to its basic tenets, fuelled by the spirit of pure competition. As a brand, we wanted to make a difference, and we like to think that we have,” Fuller wrote.

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