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Yakima Acquires Hubco

Published December 14, 2010

BEAVERTON, OR (BRAIN)—Yakima has acquired New Zealand based rooftop car rack manufacturer Hubco.

“This acquisition is a great fit in many aspects for us,” said Jerry Heinlen, chief executive officer of Yakima. “Our strategic plans had called for broader expansion both in North America and internationally. We’ve been marching down that path with more innovative products while signing up new customers in the U.S. and Canada, and by opening new distribution in Korea and Australia/New Zealand.”

Hubco will continue to operate independently with its existing management team remaining in place. The transaction is effective immediately and the terms of the deal are private.

With this acquisition, Yakima becomes the owner of the fastest growing brand in Australia and New Zealand. Yakima will sell the premium Hubco’s Whispbar and Prorack products in the United States and internationally.

"In North America, Yakima will expand its premium and price point offerings with Whispbar and Prorack," said Ron Ten Berge, Yakima's vice president of sales and marketing. "As a result, we look forward to providing our customers with new products and tools to help them grow their sales and profits, as we add new consumers to the Yakima family.

“Outside North America, both Yakima and Hubco have recently expanded distribution in select markets,” Ten Berge said. “Now, we will combine the strengths of Yakima and Hubco to increase cargo management equipment offerings for both retailers and consumers around the world.”

Yakima was sold last January to the Taiwan-based company Kemflo. Kemflo manufacturers durable goods and water filtration units.

“Kemflo is a very supportive parent company,” Heinlen said. “We were previously owned by a private equity group, and they were good for the business. But Kemflo purchased Yakima as a strategic buyer with the intention of holding the business forever, therefore wanting to help Yakima invest in growth and improve the business. When the Yakima team began working on this acquisition and proposed it to Kemflo they were very supportive.”

Heinlen said even though Yakima will always keep its eyes open for future acquisitions, don’t look for anything in the immediate future.

“We’ve got our hands full right now,” Heinlen said. “This is a significant acquisition for us. It brings us a full plate of opportunities that will probably take us a couple years to maximize. At some point we might be back in the market looking for more. We always have our eyes open for opportunities that are complimentary for the business. And to the extent that they’d become available we’d certainly look to execute those.

“Right now our goal will be to maximize the opportunities that both Hubco and Yakima have around the world, and those constitute a long list,” he added.

—Jason Norman

Topics associated with this article: Mergers & Acquisitions

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