Originally posted in Angling International
Speaking exclusively to Angling International, Kenni Riise (below), CEO of the iconic Norwegian company, says that the acquisition of the Canadian business proves that Mustad is ‘serious’ in its growth ambitions and the addition strengthens its stance within the sportfishing industry.
“Not only does LIVETARGET offer premium baits for both fresh and saltwater, it is led by passionate anglers with direction and experience that aligns with our goals and core values. The team there has proved to possess a lot of experience within our focus markets and will be a key asset in our innovation and development processes.”
LIVETARGET joins a group that includes line brand TUF-Line, which joined the Mustad stable in June 2019. Riise says: “We have ambitious and financially strong owners driving us to continuously be on the search for the right brands and people to support our growth strategy and journey of the company.
“We value strong brands with high growth potential that can support the execution of our strategy either by adding new categories, distribution or innovation competences.”
Riise added that, due to the pandemic, all negotiations with LIVETARGET were carried out via online meetings except the last one when the two parties met at Mustad’s facility in the Dominican Republic where representatives of each party were able to travel from Canada and Norway without restrictions to complete the deal.
Talking to Angling International before the news was made public, LIVETARGET’s co-owners, Grant Koppers and Vic Cook, provided an insight into why the pair had decided to talk to potential purchasers 14 years after founding their brand.
“COVID changed a few things for us,” conceded Cook. “The lockdown was tough in Canada, more so than in the US, and it gave us an opportunity to refocus. We rescaled the company into a much more efficient business and used that time to work out how we could take things to the next level.
“All the ideas were in the incubator ready to go, but the question was how were we, as a small company, going to achieve the depth and breadth of our goal? When Mustad reached out we soon realised it was the perfect fit.
“We really like the people and have a deep appreciation of Mustad’s values. And its global distribution and marketing arm will transform this business. How much better could it be? We also wanted to retain some autonomy and the design and creative side. Mustad is happy for us to do that,” added Cook, who will be Director of Global Brand Management LIVETARGET under the new structure.
Koppers will shed some of his responsibilities on the operations side to devote more time to product development.
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