Evo, the Seattle-based outdoor retailer, has acquired Rhythm Japan, a Hokkaido, Japan-based snow gear rental company, along with its winter apparel brand, Oyuki.

Under the deal’s terms, Evo will take full ownership of Rhythm Japan, with the Japanese company’s shareholders becoming part owners of Evo. Rhythm Japan will maintain its management team and CEO Matt Hampton will join Evo as managing director of the Asia Pacific region.

The agreement will mark Evo’s entry in the APAC market.

Evo said in a statement, “Rhythm has deep roots and breadth of experience in the mountain-based equipment rental space, which will be a major asset as Evo looks to continue to elevate and expand its own rental offerings in North America. Rhythm sets a high bar when it comes to mountain-based equipment rentals. Evo will draw on that expertise to continue to elevate and expand our Evo rental offering in North America. At the same time, Rhythm will leverage Evo’s 20-year track record in e-commerce to build up a robust digital offering in Japan, and eventually other Asian countries as well.

Rhythm CEO Matt Hampton and Founder Mick Klima launched the Japanese company in 2005. The group now has seven stores in Niseko, Hakuba and Furano, Japan. Rhythm and Oyuki will continue to operate under the same name and management teams.

“When we started Rhythm Japan in 2005 a core value was, and still is, to be limitless. This partnership with Evo is testament to that,” said Hampton. “I see many similarities between the businesses including a focus on community and a commitment to making lives better through epic experiences. Each business has strengths that will complement each other and make our shared future better. For example, with Evo’s insights, we can’t wait to increase Rhythm’s digital offerings in Asia. Reciprocally, as leaders in the rental market, we will be using our knowledge to assist Evo in taking the rental arm of their business to the next level.”

“The first time I set foot in a Rhythm location, I felt something different, something special. Years later, I met Matt and some of the Rhythm team, and we quickly became close friends. I had a strong inclination that we’d end up working together given our shared foundation when it comes to core values, culture and commitment to making communities stronger. Evo and Rhythm are kindred spirits, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to join forces with the Rhythm family,” said Bryce Phillips, founder and CEO, Evo.

Photo courtesy Rhythm