This morning we learned that KEE Action Sports Group has purchased Canadian paintball manufacture and product distributor XO Industries. XO has a large foothold in the Canadian market place and has been steadily gaining ground in the United States marketplace by selling quality paintballs at low prices. XO currently manufactures a large line of paintball products including but not limited to several different grades of paintballs, both on and off the field gear and distributes Gen-X-Global throughout Canada.
KEE Action Sports has several high profile and extremely successful brands such as BT for the scenario players, a full line RPS Paintballs under the brands EVIL and RPS, and EMPIRE branded playing gear.
The two companies will be working to consolidate their brands under one name and distribution network and we can only speculate as to which one is going to win out. However, the real shake up will take place at the end of the season when teams contracts are renegotiated and KEE/XO determine which teams to keep in their Pro stable.
KEE currently sponsors the Russian Legion, San Diego Dynasty, Infamous, San Antonio X-Factor and Tampa Bay Damage.
XO currently sponsors Edmonton Impact, New England Hurricanes, Orange County Bushwackers and Portland Naughty Dogs. From what we understand, XO Industries has reassured the sponsored teams that their contracts and agreements will be honored.
With budgets tightening and the natural focus of acquisition teams being to cut costs and cut out the overlap between the two companies, one can only speculate that they will refocus their sponsorship on an elite group. The deal between KEE and XO is a major move that further consolidates the paint manufacturing industry; on one side we have Procaps/DXS who recently merged with Archon/ZAP, and on the other, KEE merging with PMI and XO. Paintball is going to get interesting!
Update: Gen-X-Global is a standalone company which is distributed by XO throughout Canada. We spoke with Arfan from Gen-X who issued the following statement;
XO Industries is a distributor for Gen-X-Global product in Canada. Gen-X-Global is an independently owned paintball accessory manufacturing company based out of Southern California. Gen-X-Global is a completely separate entity. We wish both companies the best and look forward to continuing our ever present business relationship with them in the future.
Readers: feel free to share your thoughts on what this may mean for the industry.