Hobie Cat® Company Announces Acquisition of Hobie Cat Europe

Oceanside, California, September 10, 2012 – Effective September 1, the Hobie Cat Company, based out of Oceanside, California, has acquired Hobie Cat’s business in Europe. The agreement will give the sailboat and kayak company worldwide trademark rights and make the operation of Hobie Cat‘s business in Europe directly under the control of Hobie Cat Company. Together with Hobie Cat Australasia, a subsidiary for the past 12 years, the joining of international forces will unify the brand image, accelerate market expansion, focus the product offerings and enhance Hobie’s strong position in the global sailing, kayaking and fishing markets. The announcement was made by Hobie Cat Company President, Doug Skidmore.

Terms of the purchase are not disclosed, but the agreement is enthusiastically sanctioned by both entities. “It has been a dream of ours for many years to reunite Hobie Cat brands worldwide,” stated Skidmore. “This acquisition creates tremendous opportunities to build on the successes that Hobie Cat Company; Hobie Cat Europe, including Hobie Kayak Europe, their distributor for MirageDrive® kayaks; and Hobie Cat Australasia have all achieved individually in their own markets. It will take a lot of hard work and late nights to coordinate efforts, but the benefit to the Hobie Cat brand, our company and our loyal customers will be significant and long lasting.”

In 1968, Hobie® icon and founder, Hobie Alter, started the Hobie Cat Company. In December 1975, the Coleman Company purchased the worldwide company. In January 1989, the company was divided between U.S. based Hobie Cat Company and Hobie Cat Europe and sold to two separate private ownership groups. In 1995, Hobie Cat Company was sold to the current private ownership group. The two companies have operated independently for the past 23 years, cooperating on many projects and events but remaining separate entities. Still, the situation has been complicated with both companies sharing worldwide distribution rights. The new agreement is designed to unify these rights under one roof and unify the Hobie Cat companies worldwide.

Besides the economic advantages of reuniting the Hobie family, the acquisition will leverage the momentum that Hobie currently enjoys in the marketplace. The research and development team can now think globally when designing new products and entering new market segments. The sales and marketing departments of each division will be able to share ideas on how best to service their dealer networks and bring a consistent message to Hobie consumers worldwide. Coordinating the supply chain will be especially beneficial to Hobie Kayak Europe and help them accelerate even further the growing sale of MirageDrive kayaks in Europe.

Existing organizations like the International Hobie Class Association (sailboat racing) will now have a unified base of support to help organize future events. New undertakings like the recently formed Hobie Island Club and second annual Hobie Fishing World Championship will be encouraged to grow globally. The talent synergies in the international organization will position the brand for further growth while respecting the unique needs of each individual country.

Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water, and quality products. From their headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes, and markets an impressive collection of eco-sensitive watercraft worldwide. These include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks, fishing boats, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories.