July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Richey sells Competitor Swim Products division

MEDINA — A Columbus businessman has acquired the Competitor Swim Products division of Richey Industries.

Richey Industries, 910 Lake Road, will continue to manufacture and distribute its line of outdoor furniture through its other division, Great American Woodies.

Competitor Swim Products is a leader in the production of racing lane markers for competitive swim competitions. The company provided the racing lanes for the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 2008 Beijing Games, and seven other previous Olympic competitions.

Company President Richey Smith declined to disclose the terms of the sale, which was completed Nov. 5.

Asked why he sold the division, Smith said, “I will be 80 years old next year and it’s time to move on.”

The new owner of the division, Brad Underwood, has nearly 20 years experience in the development and marketing of sporting industry products, according to the news release announcing the purchase.

During the past 10 years, he served as president of a world leader and Olympic/NCAA supplier of volleyball equipment, growing the company to $6.5 million in annual sales.

“I’m excited to hand the reins of my company to someone from within the sports world,” Smith said. “Brad Underwood has a stellar reputation and will continue our focus on quality products and customer service.

“Our staff, customers and the swim industry will all benefit from his commitment.”

Underwood said he was enthusiastic about working to build on a “well-established brand.”

“I’m excited not only by the opportunity to market a great product, but also to leverage my years of management experience as I personally invest in the success of a business that has a tremendous reputation,” he said.

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