Scuba Schools International (SSI), recently announced they have been acquired by diving equipment manufacturer Mares and Mares parent sporting goods and sportswear company Head. The acquisition is effective January 1, 2014.
There is no word on how the three companies may integrate product lines or how this will eventually effect SSI’s 2,500 plus dive centers around the word. In a press release signed by SSI’s owners Doug McNeese and Robert Stoss, SSI and Gerald Skrobanek of MARES does speak about MARES products — Swimming, Snorkeling, Freediving, Spearfishing and Scuba being “a perfect match with SSI.”
The release wraps up with a few details including:
- The entire SSI management team will remain in place and continue their daily responsibilities.
- Both the SSI USA and SSI EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) offices will be maintained.
- Some operational and back office functions will be merged into the HEAD/MARES organization:
- SSI USA will remain the Service Center for the USA and Canada.
SSI has 2,600 schools spread over 100 countries and has 30 service centers. Mares has a distribution network that covers all major countries.
The official press release from SSI is below:
We are proud to announce HEAD/MARES has signed an agreement to acquire Scuba Schools International (SSI). The effective date will be January 1st 2014.
In recent years, SSI has become one of the fastest growing training agencies in the world. Dive Centers and Resorts alike are turning to SSI for the depth and quality of their training materials, plus their “signature” business support. With more than 40 years of experience, innovative products like Swim, Freediving and Extended Range keep SSI in the forefront of both the active diver and new consumer. This is only possible through the SSI network of 2500 plus Dive Centers and Resorts around the world providing “The Ultimate Dive Experience!”
Looking at the depth of the HEAD product lines, one is struck by the obvious. Not only is HEAD one of the leading manufacturers of many well known sporting goods brands, they also own MARES, one of the world’s 3 leading diving equipment brands. Their products are a perfect match with SSI – Swimming, Snorkeling, Freediving, Spearfishing and Scuba. With direct subsidiaries in most developed countries, MARES also has distributors in 50 other countries.
You are probably wondering how will this change affect me? The short and simple answer is – it won’t. Rest assured, SSI will continue to focus on its current Business Model – Swim, Snorkel and Scuba. MARES will continue to build high quality diving equipment. You can expect the same emphasis on building strong relationships with both companies and “even more” with SSI’s development and quest for creating the finest education system in the diving industry. All will be based on supporting you, the retailer and resort, promoting equipment sales, continuing education and travel.
If you are concerned how this will affect your relationship with your current manufacturer or training agency – please don’t. SSI will continue to maintain relationships with ALL major manufacturers, just like MARES will with all other training agencies. In other words, there is no obligation for a MARES dealer to do business with SSI or an SSI dealer to do business with MARES. But, what you can count on is there will be many new business opportunities for you.
In order to integrate these two businesses, this merger will trigger various organizational changes. Our goal is to make this transition as seamless for you, our customers. All will take time in order for us to make the “right” decisions. For your comfort, here are some details to ease your mind:
The entire SSI management team will remain in place and continue their daily responsibilities.
Both the SSI USA and SSI EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) offices will be maintained. Some operational and back office functions will be merged into the HEAD/MARES organization:
SSI USA will remain the Service Center for the USA and Canada.
We hope you are as excited about the future as we are and what this can do for both companies and more importantly – YOU! What we can promise is unequaled business support for our dive centers and professionals. This will remain the pillar of our business.
Bringing these 2 companies together represents a huge paradigm shift for the diving industry and a tremendous growth opportunity. Welcome to a new direction, SSI/MARES. Prepare to be amazed!
Doug McNeese, SSI
Robert Stoss, SSI
Gerald Skrobanek, MARES