The gym equipment company has paid $68m for Pearl Izumi and taken on $6m of assumed debt.

Nautilus acquires Pearl Izumi

Nautilus, Inc. is paying for all of the outstanding stock of privately-owned Pearl Izumi USA.

Pearl Izumi was established in 1951 in Japan and first distributed in the United States in 1981 and in the UK by the end of that decade. Pearl’s cycle togs and shoes are distributed through 2600 independent bike dealers worldwide.

In 2004, the company generated annual sales of $49m.

Gregg Hammann, chairman and CEO of Nautilus, Inc., said: "[This[ creates an opportunity to leverage the Pearl Izumi business into new categories. Both our organizations share a culture of growth through innovation and brand development."

"This acquisition is a natural extension of our strategy and will provide a highly complementary entry into the $2 billion high-performance fitness apparel market, which is the fastest-growing portion of the active lifestyle category. With a 16-percent share in the high-performance cycling apparel market and its recently-established presence in the running apparel segment, Pearl Izumi has done an excellent job positioning the brand for continued growth. The Nautilus management team, which has experience in the apparel and footwear industry, intends to apply expertise in both apparel and fitness to further leverage our brands as fitness enthusiasts pursue technically-superior equipment."

Headquartered in Broomfield, Colo., and with European operations in Kirschzarten, Germany, Pearl Izumi employs about 130 people.

"The leadership and staff are expected to continue with the organization. Eventually, some administrative functions may be moved to Nautilus world headquarters in Vancouver, Wash," said a statement from Nautilus.

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