Hobie Cat unites brand with European acquisition

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Oceanside, Calif.-based Hobie Cat Co. recently acquired Hobie Cat's business in Europe.

The agreement, effective Sept. 1, gives the sailboat and kayak company worldwide trademark rights and puts the operation of the company’s business in Europe directly under the control of Hobie Cat Co.

Together with Hobie Cat Australasia, a subsidiary for the last 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 company said.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed, but the company said the agreement was enthusiastically sanctioned by both entities.

"It has been a dream of ours for many years to reunite Hobie Cat brands worldwide,” Hobie Cat president Doug Skidmore said in a statement. “This acquisition creates tremendous opportunities to build on the successes that Hobie Cat Co.; Hobie Cat Europe, including Hobie Kayak Europe, their distributor for MirageDrive kayaks; and Hobie Cat Australasia have all achieved individually in their own markets.”

In 1968, Hobie Alter started the Hobie Cat Co., and in December 1975, the Coleman Co. purchased the worldwide company. In January 1989, the company was divided between U.S.-based Hobie Cat Co. and Hobie Cat Europe and sold to separate private ownership groups.

In 1995, Hobie Cat Co. was sold to the current private ownership group. The two companies have operated independently for the last 23 years, cooperating on many projects and events, but remaining separate entities.

The situation has been complicated, with both companies sharing worldwide distribution rights. The new agreement is designed to unify the rights under one roof and unify the Hobie Cat companies worldwide.

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