Wool-clothing maker Ibex, a Vermont-based company that shut down earlier this year after mounting economic pressures, was bought at auction last week by Flour Fund, a New York investment group. The price of the sale was not disclosed, but Flour Fund acquired all intellectual property and Ibex’s remaining assets. Ibex was able to satisfy its creditors and avoid total bankruptcy.
So what’s next for Ibex, a cherished company founded in 1997 that helped bring merino wool to attention of American outdoor enthusiasts? It’s unclear.
Flour Fund’s Principal David Hazan hasn’t said much, but in a general statement, according to the Burlington Free Press, he indicated that the new owners will attempt to further develop Ibex’s direct-to-consumer business model while also possibly introducing a licensing program, so that other apparel makers would be able to manufacture and sell products under the Ibex label.
Whether the company will remain in its home of White Junction, Vermont, also remains to be seen.
Ted Manning, the outgoing CEO of Ibex told the BFP of his dealings with Flour Fund, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know these guys. So far they’ve been diligent and thoughtful.” According to SNEWS, Manning has also expressed confidence that Flour Fund will help bring Ibex back to prominence.
Flour Fund has reportedly said in a statement: “We were blown away at everything we learned about the incredible properties and versatility of Merino wool. More than that, after getting to experience the actual products it was evident that this is more than just an an apparel brand and we understood instantly why a community was formed around it.”
“That was inspiring for us and we felt really good about buying something with this much substance,” the company also said.
Regardless, the transition from locally-owned, Vermont-based company to a New York investment group property is likely to mean major changes for a brand beloved for authenticity and quality.
Photo courtesy Ibex