The global economic crisis and changes in water-sports participation have thrown cold water over businesses that market water sports apparel, according to Textile Intelligence’s Performance Apparel Markets, Issue No. 43. Major companies in water-sports apparel are cutting back on operations and re-evaluating, as they see declines in their valuation. Large corporations and private equity groups have launched bids and completed acquisitions of some struggling brands. PPR, a French luxury goods and retail distribution group, acquired Volcom, maker of swim and snow apparel, in May 2011. Australian surfwear companies Billabong and Rip Curl are facing bids by private equity firms. By focusing on improving garment comfort and safety, some companies continue to hold their own.