Nidecker has announced the acquisition of FLOW Snowboarding from parent company, Flow Sports. FLOW Snowboarding will now be operated from Nidecker’s headquarters in Switzerland.
FLOW Snowboarding joins Nidecker’s expansive brand portfolio, which includes Jones Snowboards, YES Snowboards, NOW Snowboard bindings and more. The acquisition price was not disclosed, as both parties are private companies.
Flow Sports Inc., which owns several other brands, will continue to operate. The company owns SIC Maui, a leading paddle board company.
We spoke with president and CEO of Flow Sports, Inc. Anthony Scaturro about the transition of FLOW, and the details surrounding the acquisition.
What will this mean for FLOW as a brand going into the future?
Flow Snowboarding now joins a larger brand portfolio offered within the Nidecker Group. Adding Flow, which is the third largest brand of bindings and the fifth largest brand of boards, boots, bindings in America, (as per SIA marketshare reports) and likely the same in Europe and Asia, means that the Nidecker Group is the third largest snowboarding company in America behind Burton and K2 Sports.
Flow brings a solid global distribution network and a toolbox full of IP to the Nidecker Group which make them a formidable force in snowboarding. As well, the Nidecker team seem motivated to invest in product innovation as well as the sport of snowboarding.
Will day-to-day procedures change at all?
The Flow branding, design/development, global sale and marketing will now be run from the Nidecker HQ in Rolle Switzerland. Lucien Vink, Flow brand manager, will remain with the company and operate from California. The majority of the other brand related functions will move to Switzerland. As the former president and CEO of Flow, I will personally help to manage the smooth transition of power to Nidecker. In the meantime, I remain the president and CEO of Flow Sports, Inc. which owns SIC Maui one of the global leaders in premium stand up paddle boards.
Are distribution practices set to change?
While the global sales will now be operated by Cedric Nidecker from Rolle, Switzerland, the sister companies of Flow Sports, Inc. will continue to distribute Flow in the Americas via Pryde Group Americas, Japan via Shriro Japan and in Germany, Austria and France via Pryde Group Europe. This means there is a continuing relationship between the shareholders of Shriro Pacific Limited and the Nidecker Group by way of the Shriro distribution entities.
Under the new ownership, will you stay on board as a key stakeholder or advisor?
I have been the president and CEO for the past 13 and a half years, but as the ownership is privately held I was not a shareholder. As far as the future is concerned, I will not stay on with Flow under the Nidecker Group as a full time employee. There have been discussions that I would remain an advisor but as I was focused on the divestiture I chose not to conclude the negotiations with my own personal interests.
Now that the deal is completed there has been some dialogue concerning me operating from the shadows as an advisor to the new owners. I will travel to Japan next moth and continue to assist in the transitional work until the end of the year. After that we will see how it all shakes out.
Why do you see Nidecker as the proper parent company for Flow moving forward?
Shriro Pacific Limited who owns Flow is a privately held, family operation which has been in business for more than 100 years. Nidecker is a 132 year old privately held company who is also family owned and operated passed from generation to generation much like Shriro. The culture and core values of both companies are very similar and well suited to the sport of snowboarding, which is like a large family in and of itself.
We felt Nidecker would provide a good home for the brand, and will make the necessary investments in both the Flow brand and the sport of snowboarding. We believe that Flow will be a stronger company with better economies of scale within Nidecker, as Flow was the only snow sports specific brand within the family of brands at Shriro.
Nidecker is really a portfolio of snowboarding brands with Jones, YES, NOW, and Flow, with Laird Stand Up Paddle Boarding being a kind of outlier in their portfolio of brand.
Flow now will help the Nidecker Group with an even greater opportunity to create value for its distribution partners and retail network around the globe. Flow’s technology portfolio and strong global distribution will help bring value to the other brands within the Nidecker portfolio as well.
With the addition of Flow to the Nidecker portfolio, Nidecker now becomes the third largest snowboard holding in America, if not the world. This is pretty awesome in an industry that has struggled and that has generally been contracting. Today there is someone with the vision and opportunity to flip the paradigm on its head.