The Thule Group has agreed to sell its $90 million-a-year trailer business to an investment group as part of a strategic plan to tighten its focus on designing, making and selling gear that helps enthusiasts carry their boards, boats, bikes, kids, skis and other gear.
The trailer business includes Brenderup; Europe’s largest supplier of trailers for the home and garden, professional, boat and cargo rental markets. Regional trailer brands Fogelsta, Ellebi and Thule Rental, which rents trailers in Nordic countries, are also being sold to Brenderup Group, an investment group which will be formed by a group of Thule executives and the investment fund Accent Equity 2012. The new owners will take over design and engineering, manufacturing and sales organizations that employ 500 people across Europe, including plants in Jönköping (Sweden) and Wielen (Poland) and an assembly operation in Norra Aaby (Denmark).
Thule Group management decided late last year to divest the business to focus on outdoor and sport products, such as its roof-top and rear-of- vehicle cargo systems for bikes, boats and other gear. In January, Thule launched Active with Kids, a new line of child carriers, including bike seats, strollers and joggers. Thule also has an extensive line of backpacks and luggage and owns Case Logic, which has thrived by providing cases for smartphones, tablet and other personal devices.
“Our strategic focus to build on our market leading position in outdoor and sport products for active consumers around the world is very clear,” said CEO Thule Group CEO Magnus Welander. “In this context, the trailer business was no longer a core business for us.”