Bag’n Up in Colorado

Colorado Bag’n Baggage is merging with Magellan’s Travel Supplies, a California-based premium luggage company. Colorado Bag’n Baggage is owned by Gart Capital; Magellan’s is majority-owned by Sverica International, a private equity firm. Specifics of the transaction were not publicized.



Denver, Colorado, Dec. 1, 2011—Two leaders in the premium luggage and travel products industry have announced a merger today to strengthen their respective high-end brands. The Denver-based Colorado Bag‘n Baggage is merging with Magellan’s Travel Supplies, a Santa Barbara-based catalog company specializing in innovative travel products and accessories that cater to frequent travelers.

The merger is an equal partnership that doubles the size of the business with the Gart Companies, a private corporation, to serve as the managing partner. The new company will be headquartered in Denver. Both companies will continue to operate independently under the direction of their respective CEOs—Mark Gallo at Magellan’s and Tom Nelson at Colorado Bag‘n Baggage.

The combination of the two well-established brands is expected to create a significantly larger multi-channel presence in the travel products industry. Current plans are to further expand the range of proprietary products and exclusive lines created by Magellan’s while enhancing their overall presence—both online and in the retail stores.

Magellan’s has a customer base of 1.8 million catalog and e-commerce customers in the U.S. and Canada, and currently operates two specialty stores—one in Santa Barbara and one in Santa Monica. Magellan’s is majority owned by Sverica International, a private equity firm.

“Our private label products that solve travel challenges have become part of our signature, and now we can bring them to a wider audience through Colorado Bag’n Baggage stores,” said Gallo.”

Colorado Bag‘n Baggage, owned by Gart Capital, has more than 30 stores located in nine states including Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, California and Hawaii.

“The combined business opportunity is much greater than our independent operations, and we expect the new company to grow faster and more profitably with new store expansion that leverages Magellan’s catalog customer base,” explains Nelson. “With Gart Capital Partners’ proven track record in retail, we expect this to be a successful retail ‘marriage.’”

Magellan’s was established by globe-trotting Pan Am employees, John and Gloria McManus in 1989. They started the business to fill a niche for fellow travelers by selling useful and unique travel products that were often hard to find. Their catalogs contained clear descriptions of each product, why they were needed and how they worked for everything from overseas adaptors to products for health and hygiene in third world countries. Their innovative products have been at the vanguard of ‘must have’ travel accessories for more than two decades and for thousands of international travelers.

Colorado Bag‘n Baggage was formed in 2008 when Colorado Baggage, launched in 1977, merged with the Texas-based Bag‘n Baggage founded in Dallas in 1973. The blended company specializes in high quality luggage, travel related items and accessories.

“We think this merger is a game changer for both companies,” says Ken Gart, partner with Gart Capital. “The two businesses compliment each other well and we plan to build on those synergies to elevate both brands to higher awareness and sales.”