As reported by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN), Shimano has sold its Pearl Izumi apparel brand 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 purchased the rights to the brand for use in the US market. Pearl Izumi’s American parent company, DashAmerica Inc, was acquired by Shimano in 2008 for around $80 million. Pearl Izumi has since been owned as a subsidiary of Shimano’s American company, Shimano North America Holding.
The acquisition also includes the European operations of Pearl Izumi, a separate subsidiary of Shimano Europe. Meanwhile, Tokyo-based Pearl Izumi continues to operate exclusively in Japan, regardless of ownership by Shimano or USB United Sports Brands.
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 competing apparel brand, Velocio. Shimano continues to offer cycling apparel and accessories through its acquired Lazer brand, as well as its own branded apparel and footwear.
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News has the whole story.