The published statement reads that it has been almost a year since KISS and Darkwater Group agreed on the terms of the transaction. The past year has been spent by the parties involved to complete all that was involved in the transition. Now all the processes have been completed and from now on the KISS Rebreathers brand is in Polish hands.
This acquisition gives KISS Rebreathers access to new technology, extensive logistics and the capital needed for further growth – reads the statement.
New brand owner Darkwater Group was formed in 2020. It is made up of passionate technical and cave divers, as well as explorers and investors. The goal behind Darkwater‘s operations is to provide the diving community with the most innovative dive equipment and technology of the highest quality. At the moment, the group manages three highly recognisable brands in the diving industry: KISS Rebreathers, XDEEP and Seal Drysuits.
Those previously heavily associated with the KISS Rebreathers brand Mike Young, Kim Mikusch and Lynette Qualls remain part of the team. From now on, all three will act as brand representatives in the USA. Nothing will change in terms of production of the KISS units either. All KISS Rebreathers will continue to be manufactured in the USA. It is worth mentioning, however, that some improvements of certain components (e.g. lungs) will be made in Poland. However, the manufacturer does not plan any major changes in the available units or expansion of the product portfolio.
A significant change is the availability of KISS Rebreathers products in the European Union. In May 2021, the brand started the CE certification process. The entire procedure is expected to be completed in time for the launch of KISS on the EU market in mid-2022.
In addition, a new KISS training portal is to be launched in the first half of 2022. It is intended to be an e-learning tool that will revolutionise the way instructors interact with the KISS brand. This will involve facilitating access to information, assessment and examinations worldwide. The above actions are the reason why, in February 2021, the company temporarily suspended further instructor training.
The announcement suggests that we can expect a new training programme in early 2022. It is to be approved by the manufacturer and will already include updated training standards. New training director Patrick Widman is responsible for developing the latter. Free workshops for instructors and instructor trainers will be available worldwide, so as to standardise the way divers learn to dive on KISS Rebreathers vessels.
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