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Members start petition to stop sale of Mountain Equipment Co-op

The sale was approved "without the permission of the MEC membership, or any kind of meaningful consultation," says the petition.
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MEC store in Victoria. Photo by Darren Stone/Times Colonist

A day after revealing that Mountain Equipment Co-op has been acquired by U.S. private investment firm Kingswood Capital Management, a petition has been started to keep the retailer as it is.

A petition on Change.org is asking for 10,000 signatures in an effort to reverse the decision, stating: "The MEC Board of Directors has approved a deal for the co-op's assets to be acquired by a private investor, without the permission of the MEC membership, or any kind of meaningful consultation."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition has garnered 7,800 signatures and it states, "we are calling on the MEC Board of Directors to cancel the deal, and hold immediate open, fair and democratic board elections."

MEC's Board of Directors approved the deal for the co-op's assets to be acquired by Kingswood Capital Management, including the majority of its retail stores.

"After careful consideration of all viable options, the board made this difficult decision," said MEC's Board Chair Judi Richardson.

"MEC is an iconic brand founded on strong values and has a loyal following," said Kingswood's Managing Partner, Alex Wolf.

MEC had been granted protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act which allowed it to continue operating while the transaction and other elements of the plan are completed.

MEC was founded as a co-operative in 1971 and has grown to 22 retail locations across Canada.

Representatives for the company indicate they will try to keep the majority the retail locations open.

"Kingswood has committed to retaining at least 17 retail locations. It’s too early to indicate specifically how many stores or staff will be retained at this point. We are committed to provide information as it becomes available," said NKPR Public Relations representative Kathleen McDonald.

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