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Product Knowledge
March 2014

Brand ID buys


Some of South Africa’s most iconic sports brands have found a new home and owner, but will keep the same management teams. Story & photo: Nicol du Toit

In a mere six years, Super-Brands had established themselves as a major distributor of sporting goods in South Africa, supplying leading brands in most sporting codes. From April 1 this year, this division will become part of the Seardel Investment Corporation.

Just before we went to press, Cuan Chelin, CEO of Super-Brands, confirmed that an agreement was reached to sell their sports distribution business to Seardel Investment Corporation. He explained that they had been in discussions with the Seardel Group for some months, because they targeted Speedo as a brand that they would have liked to distribute in Southern Africa. They identified Speedo as a perfect fit with their other sports brands.

Same strategy

It transpired that both companies had embarked on the same strategy and they considered other options, but eventually Seardel made them an offer to take over their sports brands. Both parties agreed that this is the best deal as far as doing justice to the brands is concerned.

The Super-Brands brands will be housed within Brand ID Ignite, which is a full subsidiary of Seardel. Du Toit Botes and Steve Gallienne, who head the two Super-Brands sports divisions, will report directly to Wayne Bebb, CEO of Brand ID Ignite. The brand management teams will move to the Brand ID offices in Wembley Square and the logistics and supply chain team will be housed in their operational centre in Epping, Cape Town.

The Handicap Network Africa, SportingBet and Toy Kingdom divisions will remain with Super-Brands. Chelin said that they will continue to seek other acquisitions in the retail, online, interactive and technical industries. Super-Brands bought Dunslaz in 2008, obtained the Canterbury distribution rights in 2009 and subsequently also acquired global sports brands Skins, Mizuno and Nathan and Everlast in 2013.

Same management teams

Gallienne will remain responsible for the Dunslaz division, which includes brands like Slazenger and Dunlop (tennis, squash and cricket), Karrimor (outdoor), Opro (mouthguards) Ashaway (strings), Karakal (racket accessories) and Swingball (garden toys).

Botes will continue to manage the division that consists of brands Canterbury (rugby and teamwear) Skins (compression), Mizuno (footwear), Nathan (running accessories) and Everlast (boxing lifestyle). Business will continue as usual for all orders placed with Super-Brands for after 1 April, says Chelin. Orders will be transferred, along with any reserved stock, but invoiced by Brand ID, who’ll be contacting all Super-Brands customers who don’t have an account with them to open one.

Brand ID will, however not, be acquiring the Super-Brands outstanding debtors book and these amounts should continue to be paid into the same accounts as usual, says Chelin. “It’s definitely been an emotional week for me,” he says. “I am saddened to be moving away from an exceptionally talented team, mixed with fond memories of the industry and relationships I have formed, and yet feel great excitement about the Super-Brands Group with additional capital resources to grow and acquire new businesses.

“Disposing of this part of our business was no easy decision, but we think now is the right time to join forces with Brand ID, because there is a huge opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and move even faster towards what was my long term vision for the brands,” he says. “Wayne (Bebb) assures me that they plan to continue to run the businesses the way we always have — continuing to do what is best for the brands, our culture and our customers.”

New Xtri sponsors

CANTERBURY, MIZUNO, Nathan and Skins — locally distributed by Super-Brands — are new technical and sportswear sponsors of Xtri-Series South Africa, which took place in November.

“Xtri is perfectly aligned with regards to the high end technical performance our brands have to offer, from the novice to the off road warrior athlete!” says Paul Copson, brand manager.

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