Ski maker Rossignol looks to bikes as seeks to melt snow dependency
Rossignol, a leading manufacturer of skis, unveiled plans Wednesday to overcome the seasonal nature of its business by buying a high-end line bicycle maker and launching a "sport chic" apparel line.
The company which produces more than a fifth of all skis sold worldwide said it was in exclusive talks to purchase Time Sport International, a small French maker of hi-tech cycles as part of plans to diversify.
"The objective is to complement skiing with an outdoor activity that isn't tied to winter sports, to add a second pillar to the group so it doesn't depend only on snow," said the company's chief executive, Bruno Cercley.
"Cycling is a sector with strong potential and is very dynamic, which would be very complementary between winter and summer," he added.
The company's announcement came as world leaders meet in Paris to cobble together a global pact to limit global warming, which has already imperilled the future of some ski resorts if it hasn't yet cooled interest in winter sports.
Rossignol said on its website that it sees itself entering a new stage of development, "evolving from a snowsport-specific brand, to a mountain lifestyle brand" and includes product design and development for all year-round mountain sports and culture.
Cercley said Time, which makes cycles with lightweight carbon resin frames and has patented pedal technology, would be a good fit for Rossignol as they are located nearby and shared many clients and a "tradition of innovation and technologically advanced products".
Time, which employs 120 people, posted sales of nearly 12 million euros last year.
Rossignol also announced Wednesday its new Rossignol Apparel lines, which will put the tricolour rooster on high-end sportswear for the slopes and fashion lifestyle products for the city streets.
The company plans to unveil the lines during Milan's fashion weeks in January and February, and will sell them in only in selected boutiques as well as exclusive shops it plans to open in a handful of Europe's top ski resorts.
© 2015 AFP