Everybody was surprised a year ago when Asics, the big Japanese vendor of athletic footwear, bought Haglöfs, the big Swedish player in outdoor gear. We took the opportunity to ask Alistair Cameron, Asics' European chief, how far he has come to bundle the two brands.

According to Cameron, the two brands are working hard to find the best way to work strongly together – and not only in the back office fields such as IT, warehouses etc. After the takeover of Haglöfs, Asics even hinted that the Swedish brand was not really for sale, but the Japanese company saw a good deal to buy and that it would be fit to make it onto the global level.

The two unequal brands have already started to explore synergies beyond the back office. Asics is about to send product developers to Europe to launch a joint team of product managers to bring forward both Asics and Haglöfs.

Haglöfs will use some of Asics' technologies in its footwear to be launched for spring/summer 2012. More is to be expected from a joint effort in sole technologies that is going to bedeveloped from scratch. In return, Asics will take advantage of the Swedes' skills in using Gore-Tex and applying the eco- and social-friendly Bluesign standard. Additionally, Haglöfs has helped its parent company to put out a line of sustainable line of backpacks for the use on the trail.