by Marc Basiliere
April 22, 2014
We didn’t see that coming
Known until last week as Easton Bell Sports, BRG (Bell Riddell Giro) Sports has just announced that it has sold its Easton Cycling arm to Race Face owner and Easton veteran Chris Tutton. The “terms of the deal were not disclosed” but the transfer should be finalised within the next couple of months. This comes on the heels of the sale of Easton’s baseball/softball business and while a purchaser is being sought for Easton’s hockey arm.
“We are very pleased that the Easton Cycling unit will be under the leadership of an accomplished industry veteran and business professional like Chris,” said BRG Sport Executive Chairman and CEO Terry Lee. “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with him both in business and in our shared passions for cycling, and when he put forth an attractive offer, we felt the timing was right to proceed with a deal. We are confident that Chris and his team are the best candidates to create a bright future for the Easton Cycling brand.”
The move further focuses BRG’s properties on protection, with Giro and Bell well known in cycling and Riddell a big name in American football. Blackburn is the outlier here, with a solid cycling accessory range. Bell also has a mass-market bicycle accessory line and Giro a strong shoe and growing clothing line.
Riddell has been under attack over the past several years, the target of class-action lawsuits from amateur and professional American football players who have sustained traumatic brain injuries, resulting in multi-million dollar awards to plaintiffs and several out-of-court settlements.
Beyond the aluminium components that made Easton a cycling name, recent investments in carbon fibre have yielded well-regarded handlebars, seatposts, and cranksets, and rims built both in Mexico and Asia. Race Face builds aluminium and composite components and wheels in Asia and has its own carbon fibre manufacturing capabilities in Canada. We look forward to seeing what the two can produce with combined resources.