Skins Chairman, Jaimie Fuller, has announced that the sportswear brand has filed for bankruptcy with the Swiss court. A Trustee will be appointed to assume responsibility for the company with almost immediate effect.
Fuller says that Skins will not disappear as a brand and customers will be able to continue purchasing products, but the brand will change ownership.
According to Fuller, the compression-clothing brand’s problems started 11 years ago when the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008. He sold a portion of Skins to a private equity firm, and once the GFC was over, had to borrow large sums of money to buy out the private equity shareholders. Fuller has now revealed those borrowings have become unsustainable, and while the company has been working for some time now to try to avoid this situation, in the end there was no choice.
In his final blog on watercoloor.skins, Fuller said: “My management team and I have left no stone unturned in an effort to avoid this. I apologise unreservedly to all those affected by it. I am enormously regretful and sad that it has got to this point. Even as late as yesterday, it looked like there was an option for avoiding this action but events conspired against us and left us with no option at all.”
Fuller bought in to Skins 17 years ago, leading the creation and manufacture of sports compression wear to improve performance and aid recovery, with the brand providing, “an opportunity to do and contribute to something ‘bigger’, and help make sport better.”
Throughout this time, the brand helped bring attention to the issue of drugs in sport, and how the industry should deal with it, as well helping to bring greater awareness of homophobia in sport through its #RainbowLaces campaign in Australia, while also helping to champion gender equality.
Fuller said: “I want to pay tribute to the staff and partners of SKINS around the world who have worked diligently, astutely, loyally, tirelessly to bring the SKINS brand to life in every way. They are a fantastic team, all of whom I have loved having as part of the SKINS family.
“I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and wish you all the best for your futures. I am so, so sorry that this has happened and am simply devastated. Please be assured that I have tried everything possible to avoid having to take this action today. Absolutely everything.
“In sporting terms, I left nothing out on the park.”