Home > Other Fun Stuff > Advocacy & Industry News

Niner closes sale to Huffy owner, but will remain independent (and high end)

2017 Niner IMBA bike giveaway fundraiser
25
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

After having multiple bidders prolong the original bankruptcy reorganization plan, a new owner has emerged for Niner Bikes. UWHK Limited, which also owns several other cycling brands, has finalized the purchase of Niner Bikes and will keep the brand’s Fort Collins, CO, team and building in place. We’ll have a more in depth interview with co-founder and president Chris Sugai, soon, for more details. In the meantime, press release follows:

PRESS RELEASE: (FORT COLLINS, Colo.) March 9, 2018 – UWHK Limited, formerly Emersion International, announced today it finalized the purchase of Niner Bikes. The acquisition includes an accelerated global expansion plan for the premium off-road bicycle brand. Niner is expected to gain market share through independent bicycle dealers and international distribution.

Chris Sugai continues as president of Niner Bikes, located in Fort Collins, Colorado. “We are in-step with the vision and fast-track global plans for Niner. Our leadership team and culture, which are synonymous with our brand, will be maintained,” explains Sugai. “UWHK’s support allows the dedicated team at Niner to keep producing high quality bikes.”

“I got into this business because of my passion for all things cycling and I’m glad we can get back to making awesome bikes,” adds Sugai. “Supporting riders and giving back to the riding community will continue.”

UWHK Limited is an investment firm in premium global outdoor brands and a division of United Wheels Limited. United Wheels is the majority shareholder in Huffy Corporation and owner of Allite, Inc. and VAAST Bicycles, to be launched later in 2018. Each company, including Niner, maintains separate operations.

“Acquiring Niner represents important opportunities for UWHK and Niner,” states Bruno Maier, Managing Director of New Business. “With UWHK’s support, Niner can focus on quality off-road product R & D and effective strategies to maximize gains.”

“UWHK recognizes the short-term and long-term potential of this acquisition. Chris Sugai has the right team in place to accelerate Niner’s growth and ultimately, to increase global market share”, continues Maier.

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

UWHK (formerly Emersion International) is a global holding company of outdoor brands owned by United Wheels. UWHK seeks high-end outdoor companies and brands to add to its portfolio of Huffy Corporation, as well as Allite, Inc., and VAAST Bicycles, which will be launched later in 2018.

Niner Bikes was founded in 2004 to focus on the needs of the 29-inch mountain bike revolution. Since then, it has diversified its offering to other wheel sizes as well as other cycling disciplines in the off-road segment.

NinerBikes.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

25 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JNH
JNH
4 years ago

So what happened to Columbia Basin Partners, did they pull out or were they on the other end of the shaft?
Good luck to Niner, but it never looks good to publicly declare an intent to sell to one party, then sell to another, even less so when that party is the owner of Huffy.
.
Still, with a little luck all will turn out to be well, eventually.

Mark Studnicki
Mark Studnicki
4 years ago
Reply to  JNH

Lot of moving pieces in a deal like this. Once the bankruptcy was in process, that complicates matters as the previous owners basically have to relinquish control and have not real decision making authority at that point. Many bike brands have went this same route.

duder
duder
4 years ago
Reply to  JNH

UWHK Limited probably offered more money.

boom
boom
4 years ago

“Niner closes sale to Huffy owner, but will remain independent (and high end)” …..probably

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  boom

This business is making great bikes and loosing money lets buy them and not do anything and we’ll be sure to profit! (sarc) changes are a coming.

Niner Bikes
4 years ago

Columbia Basin Partners voluntarily stepped away. United Wheels ended up presenting a higher offer.

Heffe
Heffe
4 years ago

Ouch

Antipodean G
4 years ago

Investor’s want returns. If the returns don’t come, then they will start making changes until they do. If we assume Niner was already doing everything they could to turn a profit and reach maximum market share for their particular product, and that was not quite enough, then we can assume at some point changes are coming.

CaboLife
CaboLife
4 years ago
Reply to  Antipodean G

100% Correct

Josh
Josh
4 years ago
Reply to  Antipodean G

Optimistically, this could provide purchasing leverage for commodities like spokes and chains, etc. that could reduce cost, and there could be distribution and corporate services (HR, Finance, etc.) synergies that also help improve profitability. Here’s hoping for the best.

Bob
Bob
4 years ago

how badly did the screw over their creditors in the whole process?

DeafDaddy
DeafDaddy
4 years ago

Huffy? Ouch.

It’s like saying, “we sold our souls to Wal-Mart, but we’ll remain independent and exclusive”. Doesn’t really work like that, not in today’s marketplace. Especially with bike-savvy customers.

Once bikers associate Niner with Huffy, they’ll become viewed as nothing more than higher end Niner-branded Huffy bikes. Sales will fall, image will suffer, and they’ll be swimming in obscurity.

Best of luck to them…

i
i
4 years ago
Reply to  DeafDaddy

Isn’t Cannondale kind of the counter-argument? It seems like people have gotten over the fact that they’re owned by Pacific.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  i
Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  i

I was thinking just that albeit cannondale of every premium brand bike I’ve owned has had the worst tolerances, quality, and warranty department.

codyish
codyish
4 years ago
Reply to  DeafDaddy

Not enough people pay that close of attention, very few people will care, and those that do will probably forget in a week or two. This is how many boutique brands operate. Cervelo and Santa Cruz included, and they haven’t “faded into obscurity”.

Joey B
Joey B
4 years ago

Can you say Schwinn?? And why would you leave the personnel in place that led Niner down this path??

Fred Gravelly
Fred Gravelly
4 years ago

“Niner closes sale to Huffy…” That’s enough, never considering Niner again!

Jimmy
Jimmy
4 years ago

“to accelerate Niner’s growth and ultimately, to increase global market share”,
Why can’t someone be brave enough to just say “let’s build great bikes, fun bikes, simple bikes”?

Bill
Bill
4 years ago

Remember Serotta, Blue and MadFiber. All bought by an vestment group so save them. I hope Niner does better.

Bobby Tarantino
Bobby Tarantino
4 years ago

How did that work out for DK bikes and Airborne? DK started showing up in department stores. Eventually the original owner ended up buying the names back from Huffy.

King County
King County
4 years ago

I have no problem with the Huffy owners acquiring Niner. Dorel, (Pacific) has high end and low end. However, I always hated the ‘Niner’ name. Eventhough they can make other sizes, it just comes across as narrow sighted. 26″ fat bikes are standard, 650B road is popping up, 700c gravel, etc, are all out there. I know I am going to get criticized for this, but I think they always could’ve had a better name.

jxjjd
jxjjd
4 years ago

ha, the big conglomerates heheh..
well not like if i was going to buy a niner anyway

KOVAS
KOVAS
4 years ago

Love my NINER, I live in CO, and I’ve got cash… Yo Niner, how much you want for your company? I’ll buy you guys and get you back on track. Holla back.

Jon
Jon
4 years ago

Just bought a Niner. While I’m sure I got a great bike, I hope their image is maintained, keeping Sugai on board.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.