Chris Tutton, president of Race Face Performance Products Ltd, announced on Monday his purchase of Easton Cycling from its parent company BRG Sports.
“I am elated by the outcome,” Tutton said in a press release. “The Easton brand is synonymous with world class product and I am excited by the opportunity to renew the entrepreneurial roots of the brand and re-focus on technology, quality and service.”
A partnership between the two companies is not altogether out of the blue. Tutton was an OEM sales rep for Easton when he led the 2011 purchase of Race Face out of bankruptcy. Tutton continued his role at Easton while also heading up the revived Race Face.
Race Face and Easton Cycling will continue to operate as separate entities. Race Face is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, while Easton’s offices are in Scotts Valley, California. A shared cost/service resource agreement will be implemented where deemed to be mutually beneficial to both brands. “The shared resources agreement will allow both companies to take precious resources spent on overhead and drive those dollars back into innovation in cycling,” Tutton said.
Under Tutton, Easton Cycling will invest in an R&D Service Center based in California, which will house wheel service, wheel testing and the Easton engineering team. Under the shared resource agreement, the recently launched Race Face wheel program will also be developed and serviced from this facility. Easton marketing will relocate to the Race Face head office in the in the Vancouver area. Easton’s global sales and customer service departments will also relocate to the B.C. office.
“The team at Race Face is very excited to welcome Easton to the Race Face family,” Tutton said. “The core competencies of both companies will help to strengthen and expand both business units. There are also undeniable synergies in sales and distribution to be realized worldwide as well as wins with off-shore vendor production networks currently in place.”
The former Easton-Bell Sports has been paring its portfolio for the past several months. In February, it sold Easton’s baseball/softball business for $330 million to Bauer Performance Sports, and renamed the company BRG Sports (for Bell, Riddell and Giro). At the same time, the company said it was actively seeking a buyer for Easton Hockey.
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