Huub Valkenburg and Jay Duke Acquire Finnish Running Brand, Karhu

Athletic footwear and apparel executives, Huub Valkenburg and Jay Duke, today announced the purchase of the legendary Finnish running brand, KARHU. KARHU Holding B.V. (KARHU) acquired the trademarks and patents of the KARHU brand, which was established in 1916. Karhu Sporting Goods Oy, previous owner of the brand, remains the licensee for the Scandinavian market.
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BEVERLY, Mass.-- Athletic footwear and apparel executives, Huub Valkenburg and Jay Duke, today announced the purchase of the legendary Finnish running brand, KARHU. KARHU Holding B.V. (KARHU) acquired the trademarks and patents of the KARHU brand, which was established in 1916. Karhu Sporting Goods Oy, previous owner of the brand, remains the licensee for the Scandinavian market.

With an authentic heritage in running and a deep connection to the outdoors, KARHU follows the Finnish principles of design simplicity and running purity. The KARHU product philosophy is simple and proven: let the foot work. KARHU product engineering engages the body and enables a Natural Ride and Feel.

KARHU, meaning "bear" in Finnish, is a leading running brand in Europe and has provided technical running and outdoor gear for nearly 100 years. KARHU shoes have been worn on the feet on some of the greatest Finnish runners, including Boston Marathon champion Olavi Suomalainen, and Paavo Nurmi, giving rise to the Flying Finns.

"It is a dream come true to acquire KARHU, an iconic sports brand that I used to sell paying my way through college working at the local running shop," said Huub Valkenburg, CEO of KARHU. "KARHU'S unique brand and product position in the marketplace leverages legendary Finnish craftsmanship and the patented Fulcrum technology for footwear."

"KARHU's patented Fulcrum technology lets the foot work promoting heel-to-toe efficiency and a natural ride and feel," said KARHU President, Jay Duke. "The running consumer demands unique products from special brands. KARHU was born on the track and offers products dedicated to the purity of running. We are committed to further developing strong partnerships with specialty retailers in the U.S. and around the world where runners seek premium products."

Valkenburg and Duke, majority owners of KARHU Holding B.V., bring unique global experience in business turnarounds and new business development from major brands such as Reebok International and Nike/Converse Inc. They met in Moscow establishing the Russian subsidiary business for Reebok.

About KARHU
Born in 1916, KARHU is Finland's legendary sports brand. Meaning "bear" in Finnish, KARHU has an authentic heritage in running and a deep connection to the outdoors. Engineering innovative product that promotes a "Natural Ride and Feel"(TM) through the patented Fulcrum(TM) technology, KARHU footwear products are sold globally by specialty retailers.

KARHU is owned by KARHU Holding B.V. and designs, markets and distributes KARHU branded products. For more information about KARHU, visit www.karhu.com.

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