Johnson Outdoors Acquires Lendal(TM) Paddles
Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq: JOUT) today announced it has added Lendal(TM) paddles to its portfolio of winning, outdoor recreational brands. The family-owned and managed Lendal(TM) company was acquired from founders and owners, Alistair and Marianne Wilson.
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RACINE, Wis., — Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq: JOUT) today announced it has added Lendal(TM) paddles to its portfolio of winning, outdoor recreational brands. The family-owned and managed Lendal(TM) 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(TM) operations, located in Scotland, will be integrated within the Johnson Outdoors paddle sport operations which include the market-leading Old Town(R), Ocean Kayak(TM), Necky(R), Carlisle(R) and Extrasport(R) paddle sport brands. 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(TM) 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(TM), founded in 1964 by the Wilsons who are both former Olympic paddling champions, is a major paddle brand throughout Europe and the #1 premium paddle brand in the United Kingdom. The revolutionary patented Lendal(TM) Paddlok(TM) System combines performance, convenience and durability to provide kayakers the ultimate paddling experience. Alistair Wilson, inventor of the patented Paddlok(TM) 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.
In the past two years, Johnson Outdoors Watercraft brands have been recognized with canoe- and kayak-of-the-year honors and for cutting-edge innovation, such as the unique “flip-the-switch-and-go” Escape(R) electric boats. The Company is a pioneer in family, fishing and female paddle boats, and has launched an array of new products for 2007 to further strengthen its position in these fast growing paddle segments. Johnson Outdoors Watercraft has established itself in the global water sports marketplace over the past five years with double-digit growth in international revenues each year since 2000.
ABOUT JOHNSON OUTDOORS INC.
Johnson Outdoors is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The Company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Equipment. Johnson Outdoors’ familiar brands include, among others: Old Town(R) canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak(TM) and Necky(R) kayaks; Escape(R) electric boats; Minn Kota(R) motors; Cannon(R) downriggers; Humminbird(R), Bottomline(R) and Fishin’ Buddy(R) fishfinders; Scubapro(R) and UWATEC(R) dive equipment; Silva(R) compasses and digital instruments; and Eureka!(R) tents. The Company has 23 locations around the world, employs 1,300 people and reported annual sales of $380.7 million in fiscal 2005.
Visit Johnson Outdoors online at www.JohnsonOutdoors.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Certain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical fact are considered forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Factors that could affect actual results or outcomes include changes in consumer spending patterns; the Company’s success in implementing its strategic plan, including its focus on innovation; actions of companies that compete with the Company; the Company’s success in managing inventory; movements in foreign currencies or interest rates; the Company’s success in restructuring of its European Diving operations; unanticipated issues related to the Company’s military sales; the success of suppliers and customers; the ability of the Company to deploy its capital successfully; adverse weather conditions; events related to the terminated Buy-Out transaction; and other risks and uncertainties identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Shareholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included herein are only made as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances