6 May 2022

BDA advises Shimano on sale of PEARL iZUMi to United Sports Brands

Divested PEARL iZUMi to United Sports Brands and Bregal Partners

2022

BDA Partners is pleased to announce that its client, Shimano North America Holding, has sold PEARL iZUMi USA, an iconic manufacturer & retailer of cycling apparel & accessories, to United Sports Brands (“USB”), a global leader in sports performance & protective products. USB is a portfolio company of Bregal Partners, a private equity firm. PEARL iZUMi will join USB’s portfolio of protective & performance sports equipment sold under the Shock Doctor, McDavid, Cutters, NATHAN, and Glukos brands.
 
PEARL iZUMi was founded in Tokyo in 1950 and entered the US market during the 1980s cycling boom. In 1989, four investors in Boulder, CO, bought the rights to build a US-based PEARL iZUMi brand, leveraging technology & fabrics from the original company in Japan. Since then, the brand has grown to be the market leader in cycling apparel in the US, widely distributed across Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2008, PEARL iZUMi was acquired by Shimano, a leading Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment. The brand has since realized significant US & international growth, driven by its core road cycling apparel category, and by emerging categories such as mountain bike, casual apparel, and footwear. 
 
PEARL iZUMi has become a leader in corporate social responsibility, with 90% of products now made from sustainable materials and a goal to become carbon-neutral by 2025. As part of the USB platform, PEARL iZUMi will be extremely well-positioned to capitalize on these tailwinds and continue to build its attractive market position.
 
“This is an exciting time for PEARL iZUMi,” said Geoff Shaffer, President of PEARL iZUMi. “We have tremendous momentum and an amazing team that’s dedicated to continuing to grow the brand to new heights. Shimano has provided significant support and guidance throughout its ownership, and while we will miss being part of Team Shimano, we also know there is great future potential for the brand and look forward to continuing to grow our business with USB.”
 
“Shimano has worked hard to support and build up the PEARL iZUMi brand for our retailers and the consumer alike,” says Nolan Moser, Vice President, Bicycle Division from Shimano North American Bicycle, Inc. “We believe that United Sports Brands will be able to further this growth and we are committed to supporting our retail partners throughout the transition to ensure continued success at all levels.”
 
“We are very pleased to welcome PEARL iZUMi into the United Sports Brands family,” said USB’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Magerman. “PEARL iZUMi is an iconic, authentic, and much- loved brand that is strongly aligned with our current portfolio of brands at USB. Their culture of driving innovation and best-in-class product development – always with a “consumer-first” mindset – is consistent with our strategy at United Sports Brands. We intend to continue that product innovation and leadership under our stewardship. The addition of PEARL iZUMi, along with our running apparel and accessory company, NATHAN, makes us a formidable player in the outdoor space. We see great opportunity for continued organic growth and expansion in this segment of the market.”
      
Euan Rellie, Managing Partner, BDA Partners, said: “We’re happy to have advised Shimano, a global champion from Japan, and to help position PEARL iZUMi for the next phase of its growth, in this landmark transaction. The deal reflects BDA’s strength in the Consumer sector, and ability to navigate the complexities of cross-border transactions.”
 
PEARL iZUMi remains committed to partnering with leading retailers in North America, including independent bike dealers and national outdoor retailers, to ensure that the brand is available wherever cycling consumers prefer to shop.
 
PEARL iZUMi will operate with the support of Shimano for a transition period to meet the needs of retailers and maintain the business as planned.
 
BDA Partners and Squire Patton Boggs represented Shimano. Dechert LLP represented Bregal Partners and United Sports Brands in this transaction.

About Shimano Inc.

Founded in 1921 by Shozaburo Shimano in Sakai City, Japan, Shimano is a global leader in the outdoor and active lifestyle industry. Since delivering its first bicycle components over 100 years ago, Shimano has built a culture and ethos around innovation, constantly developing new technology and pioneering products in the fields of bicycle components, fishing tackle, and rowing equipment. Global popularity of Shimano Components fueled the demand for market expansion, and in 1965, Shimano opened its first-ever overseas sales office in New York City, founding Shimano American Corporation. Today, Shimano’s North American presence has grown to include numerous global brands while maintaining a strong connection with consumers to ensure continued innovation founded on market demands. www.shimano.com

About PEARL iZUMi

PEARL iZUMi was founded on two things: the love of cycling and, more importantly, love for future generations. The brand originated more than 70 years ago in Japan when the founder created a special jersey out of technical fabric for his son, an aspiring bike racer. Since then, the company has been progressing the design and manufacture of performance apparel and footwear for cyclists of all levels. PEARL iZUMi believes that how we live shapes how future generations ride and is committed to using its business practices, products, and community advocacy to fight climate change. PEARL iZUMi’s world headquarters are in the Colorado Front Range, where it embraces strong influence, both culturally and structurally, from its Japanese heritage. www.pearlizumi.com

About United Sports Brands

United Sports Brands is a global leader in sports performance and protective products that help athletes perform at their personal best. The brands include; Shock Doctor, the #1 global leader in mouthguards and protection; McDavid, a performance and protective brand at the top of the recommended lists of pro athletes, sports medicine professionals, and athletic trainers for more than 35 years; Cutters, the innovative leader in football gloves and high-performance grip technology, NATHAN, the running essentials market leader in athletic hydration, visibility, and performance gear; and Glukos, a developer of fast- acting, all-natural energy products designed to help athletes unleash their peak performance. www.unitedspb.com

About Bregal Partners

Bregal Partners is a private equity firm with $1.25bn of committed capital specializing in three core verticals: consumer and multi-unit, food and beverage, and business services, and is one of several dedicated funds within Bregal Investments, a global platform that has invested or committed over $16.5 billion since its inception in 2002. Bregal Partners specifically targets new platform investments that generate $5m to $75m+ of EBITDA with an emphasis on partnering with founder-owned companies in its core sectors. Bregal is committed to promoting corporate social responsibility in all aspects of its business. www.bregalpartners.com

About BDA

BDA Partners is the global investment banking advisor for Asia. We are a premium provider of Asia-related advice to sophisticated clients globally, with 25 years’ experience advising on cross-border M&A, capital raising, and financial restructuring. We provide global reach with our teams in New York and London, and true regional depth through our seven Asian offices in Mumbai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo. BDA has deep expertise in the Chemicals, Consumer & Retail, Health, Industrials, Services and Technology sectors. We work relentlessly to earn our clients’ trust by delivering insightful advice and outstanding outcomes. BDA Partners has strategic partnerships with William Blair, a premier global investment banking business, and with DBJ (Development Bank of Japan), a Japanese government-owned bank with US$150bn of assets.

US securities transactions are performed by BDA Partners’ affiliate, BDA Advisors Inc., a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BDA Advisors Inc. is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and SIPC. In the UK, BDA Partners is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In Hong Kong, BDA Partners (HK) Ltd. is licensed and regulated by the Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) to conduct Type 1 and Type 4 regulated activities to professional investors. www.bdapartners.com