As reported by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN), Shimano has sold off its apparel brand Pearl Izumi to United Sports Brands (USB), the parent company of Nathan, Cutters, Shock Doctor, and other outdoor brands.
Pearl Izumi was founded in Tokyo in 1950. In 1989, four investors in Boulder, Colorado, bought the rights to the brand for use in the American market. The parent company of the US-based Pearl Izumi, DashAmerica Inc, was acquired by Shimano in 2008 for approximately US$80 million. Pearl Izumi has since been held as a subsidiary of Shimano’s US business, Shimano North America Holding.
The acquisition also includes Pearl Izumi’s European business, a separate subsidiary of Shimano Europe. Meanwhile, the original Tokyo-founded Pearl Izumi continues to operate exclusively in Japan, separate from Shimano or USB United Sports Brands ownership.
The sale to United Sports Brands was for an undisclosed amount and was announced to employees on Monday. According to BRAIN, the sale includes Pearl Izumi’s 55,000-square-foot headquarters in Louisville, Colorado. United Sports Brands is a private-equity based company, and the purchase of Pearl Izumi marks its entry into the cycling industry.
Somewhat coincidentally, this announcement comes weeks after Shimano’s main competitor, SRAM, announced its acquisition of a competing apparel label, Velocio. Shimano continues to offer apparel and cycling accessories through its acquired Lazer brand, and its own-branded clothing and footwear.
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News has the full story.