Johnson Outdoors, owner of such watercraft brands as Ocean Kayak, Necky and Old Town Canoe, recently announced that is has sold the Lendal paddles brand and all of its assets to Celtic Paddles LTD, owned and operated by Nigel Dennis, a renowned sea kayak adventurer and designer.
The deal was signed and closed on May 6, 2010.
In 2009, Johnson launched a comprehensive initiative to reduce cost and complexity, optimize synergies and assets and improve profitability of its Watercraft unit. In addition to restructuring and operational consolidation, including the moving of its Ferndale, Wash., manufacturing facility to Old Town, Maine, the company aligned R&D, sales and marketing efforts behind a more focused, more profitable line-up of paddlesport products.
“Johnson Outdoors has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier recreational paddle sports companies, and this transaction reinforces our commitment to focus resources on bringing forward new products that strengthen our core brand equities and grow our customers’ business,” says Kelly Grindle, senior group vice-president of Johnson Outdoors’ marine electronics and watercraft division. “The Lendal brand of paddles is well-suited to the Nigel Dennis portfolio, and marks a return to its roots as a respected U.K. brand.”
Dennis plans to work closely with Lendal’s founders to continue making some of the market’s leading paddles, including the company’s patented Paddlok System for breakdowns. Those close to the market expect him to also take the right steps to rebuild the brand and re-establish dealer relationships.