Canadian Tire Corp. announced Thursday its plans to acquire Norwegian outdoor apparel brand Helly Hansen in a $985-million deal.
Here are five things to know about the skier and sailor-focused clothing company:
Sea Captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Margrethe launched the company in 1877 out of Moss, Norway after the captain discovered a better way to protect himself from Norwegian weather by applying linseed oil to cotton canvas, according to the company’s website. That trick resulted in supple, waterproof clothing and the duo started producing and selling jackets, trousers and other items made this way.
While the company started in the Norwegian coastal town, it is now headquartered in the nation’s capital, Oslo.
The brand sells its products in more than 40 countries. Its five core markets, according to Canadian Tire, include its home base Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden. Its products can also be found in several other European countries, South Africa, Australia, Chile and more.
In 2012, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired a majority stake in the company. Teachers’ worked with the brand to expand its international presence.
The brand makes most of its revenue from its workwear and urban categories, according to Canadian Tire. But it also produces sports-specific clothing for skiers and sailors. More than 55,000 ski professionals and sailors across all five oceans wear the brand’s items, according to Helly Hansen’s website.
In 2004, the brand expanded to footwear, creating a sailing boot. The company now sells a wide range of shoes, including casual footwear, winter boots, and shoes for sailing and other watersports.
In 2017, Helly Hansen acquired Musto, a British maker of clothes for sailing, equestrian and shooting. Musto recently branched out into lifestyle, women’s fitness and other categories.
Companies in this story: (TSX:CTC)
The Canadian Press