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Tech News Flash: SRAM to acquire Zipp, September 22, 2007

SRAM fills last piece of puzzle with planned acquisition of Zipp

By James Huang

SRAM is expected to utilise Zipp's considerable experience in composite design and manufacturing.
Photo ©: James Huang
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SRAM and Zipp have formally announced that the two parties have signed a 'Non-Binding Letter of Intent' which states that SRAM expects to wholly acquire the Indianapolis, IN-based composites and wheel company within the next sixty days.

While this is clearly a significant development, it likely comes as little surprise to keen observers within the industry. With the prior acquisitions of Rock Shox, Avid, and Truvativ, wheel components were among the only items missing from SRAM's otherwise comprehensive list of component offerings and rumour and speculation have been rampant in regards to a potential acquisition for some time now.

According to SRAM CEO Stan Day, "Zipp is a great company and respected brand, with a strong management team, advanced technology, and superb manufacturing capability. We look forward to bringing both successful companies together and synergistically delivering a growing strategic range of products to our customers."

Andy Ording, President of Zipp, added, "Zipp has remained focused on market defining technology development in advanced composites and aerodynamics. After nearly two decades of carbon product manufacturing, the SRAM opportunity provides additional horsepower and improved global market leverage. SRAM has a fine reputation for acquisitions and culture integration, affording us the opportunity to broaden our foundation on which the Zipp team can build for the long term."

Zipp's current product lineup is decidedly road-centric, including a wide range of complete wheelsets and rims in both carbon fiber composite and aluminum, hubs, tires, and a variety of carbon fiber road components such as handlebars and cranksets. It is entirely within the realm of reason, however, to expect that that range could very well include off-road components and wheels in the future.

According to SRAM Road PR Manager Michael Zellman, though, it's simply "too early to say" exactly how things will proceed from a product standpoint. It should go without saying, though, that SRAM is sure to tap heavily into Zipp's considerable experience in composite design and manufacturing for a wider assortment of applications in the future.

For now, things will mostly remain status quo: the current Zipp management team will remain unchanged and SRAM reports that there will be no layoffs resulting from the acquisition. Moreover, Zipp's offices and manufacturing facilities will remain based in its current location where it will also continue to handle Zipp-related warranty issues. According to SRAM, all of Zipp's current distributors, contracts, and business relationships will be honoured.

Additional information is scheduled to be released in early December.