In a step which is set to reinforce its market leadership, Samsonite International S.A., the worldwide leader in travel solutions over the last 100 years, has announced an agreement to acquire High Sierra Sport Company High Sierra, a US-based manufacturer and distributor of casual bags & adventure travel luggage.
The acquisition of High Sierra is expected to strategically extend Samsonite’s brand portfolio in the casual outdoor and sport segments of the global luggage market.
High Sierra’s range of backpacks, adventure luggage and sports bags appeals to active lifestyle consumers in the Middle East, including outdoor enthusiasts, adventure travellers, students and young consumers. The acquisition provides Samsonite with significant opportunities for brand extensions, both direct and through licenses.
With the move, Samsonite is set to gain access to sporting goods retailers, an important distribution channel where it currently has limited presence. The company also plans to open a number of High Sierra retail stores around the world.
“High Sierra is a perfect complement to our existing portfolio,” said Tim Parker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Samsonite. “It provides us exciting opportunities to leverage Samsonite’s well-established global distribution network and retail presence to significantly expand High Sierra’s respected brand in markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America.”
“Our deep experience in the travel luggage industry, along with our worldwide distribution capabilities and significant resources, make Samsonite the perfect brand steward to help High Sierra achieve its global potential,” Parker added.
Under the terms of the transaction, Samsonite will purchase substantially all of the assets of High Sierra for US$110 million in cash. The purchase is being funded from internal sources and Samsonite’s recently expanded Revolving Credit Facility of US$300 million.
High Sierra CEO Hank Bernbaum said: “In Samsonite, we have found a true partner that values our high quality, innovative products and the tremendous potential of our brand. It will be exciting to see how High Sierra develops in the hands of Samsonite, given its global scale and expertise. There is an unprecedented opportunity to grow the High Sierra brand and reach millions of new customers.”
High Sierra’s net sales grew by 31% in 2011 to US$64 million. Approximately 90% of High Sierra’s 2011 sales came from the US, with the remaining 10% from the rest of the world. The company anticipates High Sierra to continue achieving strong double-digit growth going forward, with the acquisition, which is expected to close in the current quarter.