United Sports Brands acquires cycling brand Pearl Izumi from Shimano

United Sports Brands (USB) has acquired Pearl Izumi USA from Shimano.

The manufacturer and retailer of cycling apparel and accessories will join USB’s portfolio of protective and performance sports equipment sold under the Shock Doctor, McDavid, Cutters, Nathan, and Glukos brands.

Pearl Izumi was founded in Tokyo in 1950 and entered the US market during the 1980s cycling boom. In 1989, four investors in Boulder, Colo., bought the rights to build a US-based Pearl Izumi brand, leveraging technology and fabrics from the original company in Japan.

The brand is now widely distributed across EuropeCanadaAustralia, and New Zealand. In 2008, Pearl Izumi was acquired by Shimano and the brand has since realised significant US and international growth, driven by its core road cycling apparel category and by emerging categories such as mountain bike, casual apparel, and footwear.

“This is an exciting time for Pearl Izumi” said Geoff Shaffer, president of Pearl Izumi. “We have tremendous momentum and an amazing team that’s dedicated to continuing to grow the brand to new heights.

“Shimano has provided significant support and guidance throughout its ownership, and while we will miss being part of Team Shimano, we also know there is great future  potential for the brand and look forward to continuing to grow our business with USB.”

Nolan Moser, vice president, bicycle division from Shimano North America Bicycle, Inc, said: “Shimano has worked hard to support and build up the Pearl Izumi brand for our retailers and the consumer alike.

“We believe that United Sports Brands will be able to further this growth  and we are committed to supporting our retail partners throughout the transition to ensure  continued success at all levels.”

Michael Magerman, USB’s chief executive officer, added: “We are very pleased to welcome Pearl Izumi into the United Sports Brands family. Pearl Izumi is an iconic, authentic, and much loved brand that is strongly aligned with our current portfolio of brands at USB. Their culture of driving innovation and best-in-class product development – always with a ‘consumer-first’ mindset – is consistent with our strategy at United Sports Brands.

“We intend to continue that product innovation and leadership under our stewardship. The addition of Pearl Izumi, along with our running apparel and accessory company, Nathan, makes us a formidable player in the outdoor space. We see great opportunity for continued organic growth and expansion in this segment of the market.”

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Pearl Izumi will operate with the support of Shimano for a transition period to meet the needs of retailers and maintain the business as planned. BDA Partners and Squire Patton Boggs represented Shimano, and Dechert LLP represented  Bregal Partners and United Sports Brands in this transaction.

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