Portugal’s Polisport Group, a global leader in children’s bicycle seats, specializing in the bicycle and off-road motorcycle accessories product world with a total of seven companies and nine brands, has acquired Spanish bicycle helmet and accessories brand Catlike. With Catlike, Polisport aims to strengthen its portfolio with another brand in the high-end cycling market. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
In its heyday, Catlike – founded in 1996 by former professional cyclist Pepe del Ramo – produced more than 300,000 “Made in Spain” cycling helmets per year. However, management ran into trouble in late 2019 when it sought to grow with the help of heavy investment. Ultimately, according to the company at the time, “strong debts and a decrease in sales due to ongoing counterfeiting from China” led to its downfall. The production facility in Yecla (about 90 kilometers north of Murcia) was no longer profitable, was closed and filed for bankruptcy. However, del Ramo made clear as early as the beginning of 2020 that the brand would live on and the products would be manufactured outside Spain in the future. After that, it became more or less quiet around the brand.
The Polisport Group wants to relaunch the Catlike helmets – “supported by the most advanced manufacturing processes and high-end production machinery” – in the familiar design and also re-enter the professional cycling scene. To that end, the Portuguese company says it has now “the entire development, industrialization, production, distribution and promotion of the Catlike brand and its products.” It has not yet been announced where exactly helmet production will be situated. In general, the Polisport Group is counting on covering most of the entire production process itself.
The first helmets should be available on the market as early as in the second half of 2021. A precise schedule will be published shortly. As for the remaining (Catlike) products, the portfolio is to be defined and aligned in line with Catlike’s new global brand strategy.
In total, the Polisport Group employs around 500 people and exports 98 percent of its total bicycle and motorcycle accessories production to more than 72 countries worldwide.