With its snowsports business on the wane, French ski brand Rossignol has acquired US brand Felt Bicycles to diversify its operations and strengthen its presence in the cycling world. The new owner aims to double Felt sales within five years.
Rossignol, which also acquired French bike brand Time Sport International back in 2015, has seen demand for its snowsports equipment decline in recent years as more people hire rather than buy skis.
It hasn’t escaped company execs either that the global $30bn bike industry is growing at 2-4 percent per year and they see it as a good way to keep pulling in revenues over the summer months.
New range of Rossignol mountain bikes
“Cycling is a very natural extension of Rossignol’s business, given its overlap in participating geographies, consumers and distribution channels as well as complementarity in seasonality,” said Bruno Cercley, CEO of Rossignol.
“While we will work at continuously strengthening the Felt brand globally, we will leverage our common expertise to launch a new range of Rossignol mountain bikes during 2018.”
Reuters quotes Cercley as saying that he aims to double Felt’s $60m annual revenues within the next five years, which would place it on a par with companies like BMC and Canyon.
Felt’s racing heritage
Felt Bicycles was founded in California in 1994 by motorbike mechanic and triathlete Jim Felt and has supplied numerous bikes to UCI teams in the Tour de France, including Garmin-Slipstream.
It produces a wide range of models across road, mountain, track, BMX, e-bikes and cruisers, but is probably best known for its triathlon/TT bikes, which include the Kona-winning IA Series.
Rossignol states on its website that it is entering a new stage of development, “evolving from a snowsport-specific brand, to a mountain lifestyle brand,” and includes product design and development for all year-round mountain sports and culture.