Johnson Outdoors Acquires Lendal Paddles

Tuesday, 03 October 2006

Lendal Paddles LogoRACINE, Wis - Johnson Outdoors Inc. today announced it has added Lendal paddles to its portfolio of winning, outdoor recreational brands. The family-owned and managed Lendal 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 operations, located in Scotland, will be integrated within the Johnson Outdoors paddle sport operations which include the market-leading Old Town®, Ocean Kayak, Necky®, Carlisle® and Extrasport® 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 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, 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 Paddlok System combines performance, convenience and durability to provide kayakers the ultimate paddling experience. Alistair Wilson, inventor of the patented Paddlok 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 nations 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® 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.


David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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