March 31, 2008 (Nevers, France) — French-based bike manufacturer, Look Cycle International, is working on an offer to purchase ski manufacturer Rossignol, the largest ski company in the world, reports Le Figaro. The American-based, Quiksilver, purchased Rossignol for 360 million Euros ($570 million Cdn) in 2005, but is now trying to unload the ski company as it has not performed as well as hoped. Recent snow conditions have not favoured winter operations and revenues from Rossignol which apparently equaled approximately US$379 million in 2007, are off approximately 22% compared to 2006.
Look president, Dominique Bergin, justifies his company’s interest in Rossignol based on the synergy that these two pioneering outdoor gear companies could create. In fact, Look and Rossignol have a tradition of partnerships that dates back many decades. Nationalistic concerns also feature in Bergin’s rationale and he wants to preserve bike manufacturing jobs in France in a context where 80% of bike production worldwide occurs in China. Both companies have a reputation of pioneering new outdoor technology. Look notably developed clip-on cleats and pedals in the 1980s and now is considered a leader in carbon frames.
Bergin was not prepared to say what the offer might be worth to Look, but indicated that Quiksilver is likely anxious to sell.
Ironically, while Bergin bemoans the virtual worldwide monopoly of bike manufacturing by China, Look is scrambling to fulfill an order of 200 top end bikes for the Chinese national team at the Beijing Olympics.
Look recently signed a partnership contract with the UCI at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester to establish a new programme entitled “UCI Bikes for the World presented by Look” (Great Britain) – for more on this story click here.
The original article in French click here.