Here’s the short version: Dorel is a big north American firm that is best known for making ready-to-assemble furniture, folding steps and childrens products. However, in 2004 it bought Pacific Cycle and now owns brands like GT, Mongoose, Schwinn, Pacific and since 2008, Cannondale and Sugoi. By buying Hot Wheels, it now owns the UK distributor for many of its bike brands – all part of a global expansion scheme. This also means that Dorel now also own Charge bikes (the company behind Charge is Circle Bikes).
All very interesting…
Here’s the full-on corporate blurb:
Montreal, Quebec – October 1st, 2009 – Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), today announced it has acquired the assets of UK-based Hot Wheels and Circle Bikes, UK’s preeminent distributors of the Mongoose and GT brands. This latest purchase is in line with Dorel’s aggressive growth strategy of its Recreational/Leisure segment and is the third transaction in just two months. In parallel with this deal, a new subsidiary, to be known as Cycling Sports Group UK (CSG UK), is being created to drive the future growth of Mongoose and GT. CSG UK will be dedicated to the Independent Bike Dealer (IBD) channel.
To be located in Poole, Dorset, CSG UK will coordinate all sales, marketing, distribution and customer service to better support its growing network of dealers in the UK. The Mongoose and GT brands will be distributed immediately by the new subsidiary, followed by Cannondale in January 2010.
Robert Baird, President of Dorel’s Recreational/Leisure segment said the creation of this newest subsidiary follows a similar initiative in Australia last month and underlines Dorel’s commitment to take control of its international bicycle brands in order to accelerate growth within the critical IBD channel.
“We have developed a multi-faceted strategy to grow our bike business into a global force and we are moving ahead decisively with this plan by leveraging our excellent portfolio of recognized brands and by investing in leaders in their respective markets. CSG UK will now be that much closer to the market and will react quickly to both dealer and consumer demands.”
The new UK business will seek to further its partnerships with the Independent Bicycle Dealer base and strengthen its distribution of bicycles and parts through the IBD channel. Hot Wheels has distributed industry leading brands Wethepeople and Charge for some years. The new CSGUK business will look to strengthen its distribution of premium parts brands to become a ‘full service’ business partner to its dealer base and potentially add further complimentary brands to its distribution portfolio.
It was also announced that Russell and Neil Merry, the former owners of Hot Wheels and Circle Bikes, have been named Co-Managing Directors of CSG UK. The Merry brothers have been instrumental in furthering the development of the GT and Mongoose brands, not only in the UK but globally as well. “Dorel is fortunate to partner with Russell and Neil, both of whom bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience with them,” added Mr. Baird.
“This is an exciting time and opportunity for growth in the global bicycle industry,” commented Russell Merry. “The UK has many positive factors favouring the industry with increasingly cycle friendly central and local government policies to help beat congestion, cut obesity rates and address environmental concerns. Neil and I recognised that our local knowledge and experience could take the business to the next level if we had the backing and global horsepower of Dorel. We believe that Dorel’s CSG business is set to be one of the fastest growing bicycle companies in the world in what can only be described as a positive environment for the bicycle business.”