As part of its plans to diversify its business, the Rossignol Group has finalized the takeover of Raidlight-Vertical, a French company specializing in products for trail-running and other outdoor pursuits, with 55 employees and a turnover of about €6.5 million for the year until July 2015.
The deal should support the rapid development of Raidlight, with a target reach a turnover of €20 million in 2021. Exclusive negotiations were started in early July and the agreement was finalized earlier this month at an undisclosed price.
Earlier this year Rossignol acquired Time Sport International, a high-end French bicycle company, formally through Mont Blanc Sports Group, the holding company above the Rossignol Group. The two moves fit with the ski company's strategic plans to make its business less seasonal, while potentially taking advantage of synergies in terms of consumer target groups and distribution.
Raidlight was previously owned at a majority by Benoît Laval, who established the company in 1999, and Vincent Thibaudat, general manager since 2011. The remaining shares were owned by smaller individual investors and Calao Finance, an investment firm. The Vertical brand, specializing in hiking and mountain apparel, was acquired six years ago.
Rossignol said it bought all of the voting rights but the two managers are to remain “strongly involved” from a capitalistic as well as a managerial standpoint. Raidlight is meant to operate as a near-independent subsidiary.
Laval said that such a partnership had become inevitable due to the financial means required for continued growth. Raidlight wants to support the development of its footwear range, started three years ago, and to pursue its international development. It has recently opened an office in Japan and is studying the Chinese market. The tie-up should give Raidlight more immediate access to the U.S. market, where Rossignol has a subsidiary in Park City, Utah.
Raidlight will continue to work with its brands and remain in the offices it has been using since 2011 in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, Laval previously wrote in his blog. He added that the objective is to pursue double-digit growth for the Raidlight and Vertical brands, in France and in other markets, which should lead to job creation.
Rossignol said in a statement that Raidlight-Vertical is strongly recognized for its technical products for trail running and other mountain-related activities. The two companies share an interest in innovation and competition and they are located nearby.
Meanwhile, Rossignol has gone ahead with some integration at Time Sport. Sylvain Noailly, previously in charge of marketing and business development at the Rossignol group, became Time's chief executive in March. He is in charge of a new division encompassing the bike business, digital and business development.
Earlier this summer the management of Time Sport USA moved to the Rossignol Group's North American head office in Park City, Utah. Ryan Green, manager for Rossignol's Nordic division in the U.S. market, has become director of sales and marketing for Time Sport USA. The U.S. unit is to be reinforced with other resources starting with Carlos Interone, a Time Sport employee who took up the newly created function of digital marketing officer for Time Sport USA.