Fact fans, did you know that Belgian company, Lazer Sport are the oldest helmet manufacturer in the world? They were founded in 1919. Their headquarters are also just down the road from grit.cx’s editorial overlord, Jeff. Two facts for the price of one. Don’t say we don’t treat you.
The times, they are a changing though, and in a move that seems to fit in with a wider strategy from Shimano to kit out riders as well as their bikes, they are in the process of purchasing Lazer. The acquisition is expected to be completed towards the end of this year, and in what must be a piece of good news for Lazer’s Antwerp-based employees, they are maintaining the company’s base there.
Any rumours of Di2 triggered helmet flaps are pure speculation from us, and probably signal that we should drink more coffee before taking to the news desk. Anyhoo, here’s the acquisition statement in full:
SHIMANO AND LAZER
Shimano’s acquisition of Lazer advances its mission to support people across the world to enjoy cycling and inspire excitement for exploring by bike. Lazer headwear complements Shimano’s own clothing, footwear and eyewear products, as well as Pearl Izumi clothing, also owned by Shimano, to bring a complete top-to-toe line up for on the bike use.
Sean van Waes, Managing Director: “This is a complete win-win for Lazer and Shimano. It allows Lazer to concentrate on what we do best – innovation – helping us to become the biggest helmet brand in the world at a faster pace whilst giving Shimano access to the best helmets in the business.”
“By combining Shimano’s customer base with our unique patents, technologies and products, the Shimano group will be well positioned to equip road, MTB, urban and leisure bike riders with a full mix of innovative components and accessories.”
The combination of the two companies will increase the value Shimano and Lazer deliver to distributors and retailers in the cycle industry, whilst expanding Shimano’s portfolio.
For all customers and consumers, the acquisition brings greater expertise to both companies, which will allow for the enhanced creation and delivery of products on both sides. This in turn will enable retailers to bring better products into stores and enhance the experiences of everyone who rides a bike.
Marc Van Rooij, President of Shimano Europe: “When we made the decision to expand our portfolio we were looking to invest in a strong and successful global brand that resonated well with consumers. We’re very pleased to say that in Lazer we found the perfect match.
“We have become big fans of Lazer products and what Lazer has achieved. This exciting acquisition allows us to strengthen our position in key markets across the world and benefit from the technological expertise Lazer has built up in its helmet division. We look forward to working with our new Lazer colleagues in the near future.”
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Lazer company owners Sean van Waes and Peter Steenwegen, Sales Director, will remain an integral part of the Lazer management board. All staff will also remain with the company at its base in Antwerp, Belgium.