United Sports Brands announced that it has acquired Pearl Izumi USA, the manufacturer of cycling apparel and accessories. Pearl Izumi will join USB’s portfolio of protective and performance sports equipment sold under the Shock Doctor, McDavid, Cutters, Nathan, and Glukos brands.

Terms were not disclosed.

Pearl Izumi was founded in Tokyo in 1950 and entered the U.S. market during the ’80s cycling boom. In 1989, four investors in Boulder, CO, bought the rights to build a U.S.-based Pearl Izumi brand, leveraging technology and fabrics from the original company in Japan. Since then, the brand has grown to be widely distributed across Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2008, Pearl Izumi was acquired by Shimano, the Japanese manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment. The brand has since realized U.S. and international growth, driven by its road cycling apparel and emerging categories, including mountain bike, casual apparel and footwear. As part of the USB platform, Pearl Izumi is expected to be “extremely well-positioned to capitalize on these tailwinds and continue to build its attractive market position.”

“This is an exciting time for Pearl Izumi,” said Geoff Shaffer, president, Pearl Izumi. “We have tremendous momentum and an amazing team that’s dedicated to continuing to grow the brand to new heights. Shimano has provided significant support and guidance throughout its ownership and while we will miss being part of team Shimano, we also know there is great future potential for the brand and look forward to continuing to grow our business with USB.”

“Shimano has worked hard to support and build up the Pearl Izumi brand for our retailers and the consumer alike,” said Nolan Moser, vice president, bicycle division, Shimano North America Bicycle, Inc. “We believe that United Sports Brands will be able to further this growth, and we are committed to supporting our retail partners throughout the transition to ensure continued success at all levels.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Pearl Izumi into the United Sports Brands family,” said USB’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Magerman. “Pearl Izumi is an iconic, authentic and much-loved brand that is strongly aligned with our current portfolio of brands at USB. Their culture of driving innovation and best-in-class product development—always with a ‘consumer-first’ mindset—is consistent with our strategy at United Sports Brands. We intend to continue that product innovation and leadership under our stewardship. The addition of Pearl Izumi, along with our running apparel and accessory company, Nathan, makes us a formidable player in the outdoor space. We see great opportunity for continued organic growth and expansion in this segment of the market,” added Magerman.

Pearl Izumi will operate with the support of Shimano for a transition period to meet the needs of retailers and maintain the business as planned.

BDA Partners and Squire Patton Boggs represented Shimano, and Dechert LLP represented Bregal Partners and United Sports Brands in this transaction.

Photo courtesy Pearl Izumi