What does ASG’s acquisition mean for Ellsworth? With origins in South Africa and operations in Italy, ASG International has been expanding into more cycling markets & segments recently. Now by taking on Ellsworth bikes, ASG is planting a foothold in the Americas, bringing with it ASG’s distribution expertise.
Ellsworth acquisition by ASG Group
ASG had already been distributing Ellsworth mountain bikes in South Africa for a some years now, so the relationship had already been made. And while ASG already had divisions in Italy, Monaco & South Africa, they were noticeably absent from the valuable North American markets. So this looks like less of a corporate buyout, and more of Ellsworth being brought into the fold to help ASG expand both its territory and diversify it products.
ASG CEO Heinrich Dannhauser said from the outset “We’ve been impressed by the quality, craftsmanship and performance of Ellsworth products, especially with the latest models.” That specifically means the new Truth Convert we’ve just seen at Sea Otter a couple of weeks back will carry on, with its wild Active suspension redesign and XC or Trail build options.
So the plan going forward is to bring ASG’s might to continuing to focus on the building on the respected Ellsworth brand, now with a larger international distribution team.
A New Owner, Again?
Readers may remember that Ellsworth just had another buyout and a brand rebirth a couple of years back at the start of 2016. That was when BST Nano Carbon took over ownership of the brand with the move from all alloy bikes to their more modern crop of carbon.
Ellsworth p/b ASG North America
Founder Tony Ellsworth will again remain Head of Design at Ellsworth, and continue to be responsible for bike development. (Interestingly that new ASG ownership photoshoot must have happened a while ago, before the new Truth was completed, since they are holding the old generation bike!) South African businessman & cycling industry outsider Mike Chapman will take over as CEO to bring fresh eyes to the brand. Beyond bikes, ASG is working to develop lifestyle & apparel products for Ellsworth, bringing their experience from other companies in the ASG portfolio.
Ellsworth will move to a new San Diego, CA location together with their new parent ASG North America. ASQ will also start distributing their other brands from the new HQ, including their biggest Scicon bike travel bags, and notably FTech Italian made clothing.