U.S. sports products company True Temper Sports Inc has acquired VH Footwear Inc, a Winnipeg manufacturer of custom hockey skates that is led by Founder and CEO Scott Van Horne. No financial terms were disclosed. True Temper said the acquisition is strategic and will provide a growth platform for its TRUE hockey business. As part of the deal, True Temper said it will continue to produce VH skates in Canada. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, True Temper, a maker of hockey, golf and lacrosse products, was acquired by U.S. private equity firm Lincolnshire Management in 2012.
True Temper Sports Acquires VH Footwear
Nov 22, 2016
Memphis, TN – True Temper Sports, a leading developer and manufacturer of Hockey, Golf and Lacrosse products announced today the acquisition of Winnipeg, Manitoba based hockey skate manufacturer, VH Footwear Inc. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will add exciting, innovative technology to the company’s advanced R&D portfolio and expand TRUE Hockey’s reach into the important skate category.
“There is a need and an appetite for a new brand in the skate category, probably more so than any other time in the history of the hockey industry,” Jeremy Erspamer, President & CEO of True Temper Sports said. “This is a strategic acquisition for our company and provides an immediate growth platform for our burgeoning TRUE hockey business both at the retail level and within the professional hockey ranks globally. This should also be further evidence to hockey players worldwide, our valued retail partners, and the hockey industry as a whole of our continued commitment to enter new product categories with game changing, performance enhancing technology.”
As part of the Agreement, True Temper Sports will continue to manufacture VH skates in Winnipeg, Canada. All employees of VH will be retained, and there are plans to expand the footprint in Winnipeg – both in terms of facilities and people.
“We are thrilled to be embarking on this new phase with TRUE Hockey,” Scott Van Horne, Founder and CEO of VH Footwear Inc. said. “It was mandatory to us that the manufacturing and people involved with our company remained in Winnipeg and that we teamed up with a company that shared a like-minded approach as it relates to innovation and performance driven product. It was obvious early on in our discussions there was synergy between both groups and an opportunity to create significant product innovation by bringing the talented group of engineers from both companies together.”
Both TRUE and VH currently distribute their hockey product lines globally and are used by elite level players of the game around the world.
“This is a very strong and synergistic business deal. The market penetration at the Pro hockey level in particular including 80+ NHL players currently wearing the VH skate is remarkable, and together we feel we can only enhance and grow the offerings of both entities going forward,” Steve Sutherland, Director and GM for TRUE Hockey said.
In the coming weeks, TRUE hockey will be rolling out its detailed strategic plan to its valued retail partners and consumers for the VH skate line, including a very exciting retail consumer experience with select TRUE hockey retail partners in 2017.
“This is extremely exciting for both TRUE and VH,” Garth Smith, VP Sales & Marketing of VH Footwear Inc. said. “We will certainly continue to strengthen the marketplace relationships currently in place while expanding our presence globally, and are committed to continuing to deliver best in class product to our current and potential new clients.”
About TRUE Hockey:
True Temper’s Hockey Division was established with the mission to bring the company’s devotion to the highest quality materials, the strictest manufacturing processes and the best engineering minds to the ice. For fourteen years, other hockey companies hired TRUE Hockey to design, engineer and manufacture over 2,000,000 sticks – sticks that showed up in the hands of countless NHL professionals and provided domination at every level of the game. With full control of the product, from R&D to distribution, TRUE Hockey is focused on one goal: 110% devotion to the best performing hockey products on the market. For more information, visit www.true-hockey.com.
About VH Footwear:
VH Footwear Inc. is a Corporation located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. VH produces custom made speed and hockey boots that are used by hundreds of players in the NHL, KHL and other professional leagues – as well as the numerous world-class speed skaters. The skates are the passionate work of Scott Van Horne, who has been designing and building skates for over 25 years.
Dave McNally – Manager, Marketing/Business Development, True Temper Sports.
Garth Smith – VP Sales and Marketing, VH Footwear Inc.
Photo courtesy of True Temper Sports Inc