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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Westlife buys Matix Clothing

By Keith Hamm
ESPN.com

Daewon Song welcomes the future of Matix.

As the perfect economic storm bent on capsizing DVS Shoe Co. gives way to calmer seas on the horizon, Matix Clothing, which was part of the action sport brand's recent bankruptcy filing, has reportedly found safe harbor.

In a statement released earlier this month, Westlife Distribution, the parent company of 686, announced its purchase of Matix from new DVS owners, Sequential Brands Group.

"Matix is back on track [with] a lot of changes for the better," longtime DVS skate pro and Matix frontman Daewon Song told ESPN.com. "I started Matix with [DVS cofounder] Tim Gavin and Podium [Distribution] and did the first line of clothing on [DVS cofounder] Kevin Dunlop's kitchen floor. It's been fun, and I'm happy I can still be part of its growth in this new venture."

The Westlife deal is an asset purchase that includes intellectual property, inventory, and accounts receivable, according to the statement, which does not disclose the purchase amount.

"Skateboarding is where I came from and I couldn't be more stoked," Westlife President and CEO Michael Akira West said in the statement. "We've been longtime fans of Matix and have solid relationships with the Dunlap brothers as well as current and former Podium employees."

Westlife plans to relocate Matix to its Los Angeles headquarters, and current employees are invited to make the move, with [DVS cofounder] Brian Dunlop as the clothing brand's president.

"I would like to give a big thank you to all the retailers, reps and distributors that have been behind Matix for all these years and especially during these tough times," Dunlap said. "With the Westlife structure behind us, we will be at 110 percent in no time. As [poet] George Herbert said, storms make the oak grow deeper roots."