Johnson Outdoors Inc. has acquired Scotland-based Lendal paddles, adding the company to its portfolio of paddlesports brands. The family-owned and managed Lendal company was acquired from founders and owners, Alistair and Marianne Wilson. The transaction, which closed on October 3, 2006, continues Johnson Outdoors’ strategic focus on acquisitions that complement its businesses, have market-leading potential and strengthen long-term profitability.
Lendal operations, located in Scotland, will be integrated within the Johnson Outdoors paddlesport operations which include Old Town, Ocean Kayak, Necky, Carlisle, and Extrasport paddle sportbrands. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2008 due to one-time integration costs this year.
“Our vision is to own the outdoor adventure, with a clear focus on sustainable growth through continuous innovation and strategic, targeted acquisitions,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson Outdoors. “Lendal is a perfect complement to round out our paddle portfolio: an elite brand with a unique and meaningful point-of-difference, and a strong potential for growth by leveraging our global distribution network and marketing strength.”
Lendal, founded in 1964 by the Wilsons who are both former Olympic paddling champions, is a major paddle brand throughout Europe and the number one premium paddle brand in the United Kingdom. The revolutionary patented Lendal Paddlok System combines performance, convenience and durability to provide kayakers the ultimate paddling experience. Alistair Wilson, inventor of the patented Paddlok System, will work exclusively with Johnson Outdoors on a variety of design, marketing and promotional efforts in the future. As a result of this acquisition, Johnson Outdoors is now among the leading competitors in every major segment of an estimated $400 million paddle sports marketplace.
According to research sponsored by the Outdoor Industry Association this year, more Americans are paddling the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes and coastlines than ever before.