A New Year and, finally, new owners for Mongoose

Brunswick, the marine equipment supplier with interests in bowling and other leisure pursuits, has sold its bicycle division to fellow US bike brand Pacific Cycles
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Brunswick announced its intention to get out of cycling in June last year and since then has been searching for a buyer for its Mongoose, Mongoose Pro (the IBD brand) and Roadmaster brands which sell 4m units worldwide per year.

Brunswick was successful at placing its bikes in Wal-mart boosting brand awareness and sales of Mongoose bikes but the cycle trade never proved to be as profitable for the outboard motor manufacturer as its other interests.

Pacific Cycle, a US low-end bike maker, bought Brunswicks bike division for $60m on January 2nd, $48.5 million of it in cash.

The decision to sell back in the summer of 2000 was due to then newly elected chairman and chief executive officer, George Buckley. He wanted out of bikes because they dont make money quick enough. When Brunswick diversified into bikes it did so because of environmental concerns about the future of petrol-driven outboard motors, which is where Brunswick is strongest. However, two CEOs down the line, the decision to diversify into areas geared differently to the boat trade was seen as a mistake.

Mongoose was coming back into profit but not fast enough for the new Brunswick management.

Last year Neil Murray of Mongoose importer Hot Wheels International said he wasnt phased by the divestment talk:

When one door closes, another one opens. Every time the business has changed hands we have benefitted.

Brunswick Corp. is the third owner of Mongoose that Hot Wheels has worked with.

Pacific sold over 1 million bicycles in 2000, wholly to US corporate shed retailers. It has no track record of selling to IBDs, although itn has recently taken on high-level personnel who have.

Russell Merry of Hot Wheels International, the UK importer of Mongoose bikes, said: quote to come!

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