Rather Outdoors announced that it has acquired Zebco Brands, the Tulsa, OK-based manufacturer of fishing rods, reels and accessories.
Operational since 1949, Zebco is one of the oldest companies in the Rather Outdoors portfolio of brands.
Ken Eubanks, CEO of Rather, said “We are thrilled to welcome Zebco to the Rather family of brands. From a company perspective, this business represents robust growth potential for Rather Outdoors and enables us to continue building a complementary offering for our most important partner, our consumers in the fishing community.”
Rather Outdoors said the fishing equipment space has seen a consistent upward trajectory in consumer participation in the sport. In the past year, consumer interest has grown, particularly in the segments of youth and new anglers, areas where the Zebco brands have excelled. “This bold acquisition positions Rather Outdoors to take full advantage of the sport’s growth and momentum,” Eubanks said.
A key component of the Zebco acquisition is its Europe portfolio, which includes Telford, England-based Preston Innovations and Zebco Europe, located in Tostedt, Germany. Preston, a UK match fishing brand, has an established presence in coarse, carp and bait segments of the European market. Zebco Europe distributes the Zebco brand but also has a share of Europe’s predator fishing with Quantum, which originally launched in the U.S. in 1984, and is established in the lexicon of American and European angling. Together, the acquisition of Zebco brands solidifies Rather’s goal of achieving a global position in the fishing tackle space.
Eubanks added, “What the Zebco acquisition means for our retail partners is of utmost importance to Rather. A strong partnership between Rather and our retailers is in this company’s DNA. We believe this deal will enhance consumer engagement and provide retail customers with a full complement to our heritage brands.”
Steve Smits, president and chief operating officer of Zebco, offered, “The team here at Zebco is proud of our past and the strong traditions of our brands. We believe that the leadership of Rather Outdoors remains committed to delivering the highest quality products to the loyal consumers of Zebco Brands.”
Photo courtesy Zebco