Oceanside, California,- Effective September 1, 2012, the Hobie Cat Company, based out of Oceanside, California acquired Hobie Cat’s business in Europe. The agreement will give the sailboat and kayak company worldwide trademark rights and make the operation Hobie Cat’s business in Europe directly under the control of Hobie Cat Company. Together with Hobie Cat Australasia, a subsidiary for the past twelve years, the joining of international forces will unify the brand image, accelerate market expansion, focus the product offerings and enhance Hobie’s strong position in the global sailing, kayaking and fishing markets. The announcement was made by Hobie Cat Company president, Doug Skidmore.
Terms of the purchase are not disclosed, but the agreement is enthusiastically sanctioned by both entities. "It has been a dream of ours for many years to reunite Hobie Cat brands worldwide. This acquisition creates tremendous opportunities to build on the successes that Hobie Cat Company, Hobie Cat Europe and Hobie Cat Australasia have all achieved individually in their own markets,” stated Doug. “It will take a lot of hard work and late nights to coordinate efforts, but the benefit to the Hobie Cat brand, our company and our loyal customers will be significant and long lasting.”
In 1968, Hobie icon and founder Hobie Alter started the Hobie Cat Company. In December 1975, the Coleman Company purchased the worldwide company. In January 1989, the company was divided between U.S. based Hobie Cat Company and Hobie Cat Europe and sold to two separate private ownership groups. In 1995, Hobie Cat Company was sold to the current private ownership group. The two companies have operated independently for the past 23 years, cooperating on many projects and events but remaining separate entities. Still, the situation has been complicated with both companies sharing worldwide distribution rights. The new agreement is designed to unify these rights under one roof and unify the Hobie Cat companies worldwide.
Besides the economic advantages of reuniting the Hobie family, the acquisition will leverage the momentum that Hobie currently enjoys in the marketplace. The research and development team can now think globally when designing new products and entering new market segments. The sales and marketing departments of each division will be able to share ideas on how best to service their dealer networks and bring a consistent message to Hobie consumers worldwide.
Existing organizations like the International Hobie Class Association (IHCA) will now have a unified base of support to help organize future events. The talent synergies in the now international organization will position the brand for further growth while respecting the unique needs of each individual country.
The IHCA is excited with the new outlook and unified approach from the Hobie Cat manufacturers. As the largest one-design catamaran class in the world we look forward to this chapter in the growth of our class.