BH Fitness, a manufacturer based in Northern Spain and popular throughout Europe, has announced it has acquired the Bladez Corp. from DK City.
The new ownership was unveiled at the IHRSA show, which was also the first IHRSA show for either Bladez or BH.
"The deal has just come together," John Coyle, director of fitness for the newly minted BH America division, told SNEWS®. "DK City can focus on its OEM business and we can grow. It's a real win-win."
Coyle said the deal should be seamless for its retailers. The difference will be in name, labels and colors since the name used at specialty will now be exclusively BH Fitness. The Bladez name will only appear at sporting goods, under the Ion brand, a channel where it was already well-known because of its scooter business. DK City had acquired full ownership about 19 months ago.
"The BH brand doesn't exist in sporting goods and never will," he added.
In addition, the commercial brand will be BH Hipower and the vertical brand will be dominated by the SK ("Sportkoncept") Line, launched a year ago. For now, the products will remain mostly the same with a bit of tweaking, Coyle said, with new products and concepts slowly shifting into the line over the next year.
"There'll be some minor tweaks," he explained. "For our dealers, it will be seamless."
BH Fitness is a family-run business based in Victoria, Spain, in the northern Basque country. According to the website (www.bhfitness.es), the BH Group started in 1909 and has a specialty in the cycling business. It launched a division called Exercycle in 1989 to focus on fitness. The company sells products in 65 countries on five continents. Click here to see its equipment under the Home Line it launched earlier this year.
SNEWS® View: DK will still manufacture some pieces for Bladez but doesn't have to lose its OEM business because of a focus on a brand of its own. The BH equipment is made in several places, including Spain, China and Taiwan, which should allow it the flexibility to compete well. Despite new brands coming into the fitness segment, Bladez had managed to grow about 250 percent in the last year and expects to grow more with the addition of the commercial line. Honestly, the Bladez name never made a heck of a lot of sense on fitness equipment, sounding more like skates, skis or scooters, but BH certainly doesn't say much either. Now, if the BH folks in Spain could get a better translator for its signs, website and slogans, we'll be even happier. Read our SNEWS® Forum, The Herd, in the thread called "Lost in Translation" (click here to get there) to experience a few giggles about that. Collateral should in all languages match the professionalism and quality of the equipment.