PARIS Feb 3 French snowsports equipment firm
Rossignol has agreed to buy Felt Bicycles, a U.S. maker of
racing and mountain bikes with annual sales of more than $60
million, the company said on Friday.
"If we can double that (sales figure) within five years, it
would not be bad," Rossignol Chief Executive Bruno Cercley told
"Cycling is a very natural extension of Rossignol's business
as well as complementary in seasonality," he added.
Rossignol has expanded into fashion and more recently
cycling in order to reduce its dependency on snowsports, buying
French bike maker Time Sport International in 2015, a business
that generates 10 million euros ($10.8 million) in sales.
Overall, Cercley said he hoped Rossignol can triple revenue
from cycling activities within four to five years.
The privately-held Felt Bicycles company is known for its
cutting-edge mountain and racing bikes with which athletes have
won World Championships and Olympic gold medals.
While demand for ski equipment has ebbed in the past decade,
as more people hire rather than buy skis, the global bicycle
market, worth some 30-40 billion euros, is growing at between 2
and 4 percent per year, according to Cercley.
Currently Rossignol still makes the bulk of its 243 million
euros of annual sales from ski equipment, with clothing
accounting for just 10 percent. It makes 75 percent of its sales
outside France, including 31 percent in north America.
It competes with Fischer, Head and Amer Sports'
Atomic and Salomon brands and accounts for 24 percent of the
world ski equipment market.
Its brands also include ski maker Dynastar, Lange boots and
Rossignol had suffered for years from weak demand but
returned to profit in 2010 after cutting jobs, scaling back its
production facilities and paring down its product lines.
The company is majority owned by private equity firm Altor
while private equity firm Sandbridge Capital and Rossignol
managers have minority stakes.
($1 = 0.9265 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Pascale Denis; Editing by
Sudip Kar-Gupta, Greg Mahlich)