United Sports Brands acquires iconic cycling brand PEARL iZUMi

PEARL iZUMi was founded in Tokyo in 1950 and entered the American market during the cycling boom of the 80s. In 1989, four investors from Boulder, Colorado.purchased the design rights to an American brand PEARL iZUMi, leveraging the original company’s technology and fabrics by Japan. Since then, the brand has become the market leader in cycling clothing in the United States and is widely distributed across Europe, Canada, Australiaand New Zealand. In 2008, PEARL iZUMi was acquired by Shimano, a Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment. The brand has since achieved significant growth in the United States and internationally, driven by its core category of road cycling apparel and emerging categories such as mountain biking, casualwear and footwear. PEARL iZUMi has also become a leader in corporate social responsibility, with 90% of products now made from sustainable materials and a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. As part of the USB platform, PEARL iZUMi will be extremely well positioned to capitalize on these tailwinds and continues to strengthen its attractive market position.

“It’s an exciting time for PEARL iZUMi,” said Geoff Schaffer, President of PEARL iZUMi. “We have tremendous momentum and an incredible team who are dedicated to continuing to grow the brand to new heights. Shimano have provided great support and guidance throughout their ownership, and while we will miss being part of the At Shimano, we also know there is great future potential for the brand and we look forward to continuing to grow our business with USB.”

“Shimano has worked hard to support and grow the PEARL iZUMi brand for our retailers and the consumer,” says Nolan MoserVice President of the Bicycle Division of Shimano North America Bicycle, Inc. “We believe United Sports Brands will be able to continue this growth and we are committed to supporting our retail partners through the transition to ensure a continued success at all levels.”

“We are very pleased to welcome PEARL iZUMi to the United Sports Brands family,” said USB CEO, Michael Maggerman. “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 world-class product development, always with a mindset” consumer first”— is consistent with our strategy at United Sports Brands. We intend to continue this innovation and product leadership under our leadership. The addition of PEARL iZUMi, along with our apparel company and running accessories, NATHAN, makes us a formidable player in the outdoor space. We see great opportunities for continued organic growth and expansion in this segment of the market,” added Magerman.

PEARL iZUMi remains committed to partnering with leading retailers in North Americaincluding independent bicycle dealers and national outdoor retailers, to ensure the brand is available wherever bicycle consumers prefer to shop.

PEARL iZUMi will operate with support from Shimano during a transition period to meet retailer needs and maintain business as planned.

BDA Partners and Squire Patton Boggs represented Shimano, and Dechert LLP represented Bregal Partners and United Sports Brands in this transaction.

About United Sports Brands : United Sports Brands is a global leader in sports performance and protective products that help athletes perform at their best. Trademarks include; Shock Doctor, the world’s #1 leader in mouthguards and protection; McDavid, a performance and protection brand that has topped the recommended lists of professional athletes, sports medicine professionals and athletic trainers for more than 35 years; Cutters, the innovative leader in high performance football gloves and grip technology; NATHAN, the market leader in running essentials for hydration, visibility and athletic performance gear; and Glukos, a developer of fast-acting, all-natural energy products designed to help athletes unleash their peak performance. For more information, visit www.unitedspb.com.

About PEARL iZUMi : PEARL iZUMi was founded on two things: the love of cycling and, more importantly, the love of future generations. The brand was born over 70 years ago in Japan when the founder created a special jersey in technical fabric for his son, a budding cyclist. Since then, the company has advanced the design and manufacture of performance apparel and footwear for cyclists of all skill levels. PEARL iZUMi believes that our way of life shapes the conduct of future generations and is committed to using its business practices, products and community advocacy to fight climate change. PEARL iZUMi’s global headquarters are in the Colorado Front Range, where it embraces a strong influence, both cultural and structural, of its Japanese heritage. For more information visit www.pearlizumi.com

SOURCE United Sports Brands

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