True Temper Sports, parent of True Hockey and a developer and manufacturer of golf and lacrosse products, has acquired the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based hockey skate manufacturer VH Footwear Inc.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. True foresees the acquisition will add “exciting, innovative technology to the company’s advanced R&D portfolio and expand True Hockey’s reach into the important skate category.”
“There is a need and an appetite for a new brand in the skate category, probably more so than any other time in the history of the hockey industry,” said Jeremy Erspamer, president and CEO, True Temper Sports “This is a strategic acquisition for our company and provides an immediate growth platform for our burgeoning True hockey business both at the retail level and within the professional hockey ranks globally. This should also be further evidence to hockey players worldwide, our valued retail partners and the hockey industry as a whole of our continued commitment to enter new product categories with game changing, performance enhancing technology.”
As part of the agreement, True Temper Sports will continue to manufacture VH skates in Winnipeg, Canada. All employees of VH will be retained, and there are plans to expand the footprint in Winnipeg – both in terms of facilities and people.
“We are thrilled to be embarking on this new phase with True Hockey,” said Scott Van Horne, founder and CEO, VH Footwear Inc. “It was mandatory to us that the manufacturing and people involved with our company remained in Winnipeg and that we teamed up with a company that shared a like-minded approach as it relates to innovation and performance driven product. It was obvious early on in our discussions there was synergy between both groups and an opportunity to create significant product innovation by bringing the talented group of engineers from both companies together.”
Both True and VH currently distribute their hockey product lines globally and are used by elite-level players of the game around the world.
In the coming weeks, True Hockey will be rolling out its strategic plan to its retail partners and consumers for the VH skate line, including a retail consumer experience with select True Hockey retail partners in 2017.
Photo courtesy True Hockey