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Zebco-Van Staal Joins Line Up Of Brands For Avid Anglers At Zebco/W.C. Bradley Co.

Press Release

TULSA, OK. - The Zebco fishing tackle business of W.C. Bradley Co. has entered into a Letter of Intent to acquire the Van Staal brand and products from Reel Ventures, LLC. Van Staal provides uniquely designed, super premium saltwater fishing tackle for demanding anglers. The transaction is expected to close by September 30, 2003. Details of the transaction are not being released at this time.

Zebco was purchased by privately held W.C. Bradley Co. in June of 2001 and since that time there have been steady investments in research and development, new product development, product quality and customer service. At the July, 2003 ICAST trade show, Zebco launched its first Quantum Performance Tuned line of inshore saltwater tackle. The acquisition of Van Staal adds a super-premium saltwater brand of reels and accessories. Tim Horne, President and COO of the W.C. Bradley Co. Home Leisure Group said, “When we purchased Zebco, we intended it to be a platform company around which complementary acquisitions would support the business’ growth plans. This is now underway.”

The Van Staal brand originated in surf fishing in the Northeast and is known for a line of fully machined and sealed spinning reels retailing for $500-$600 and titanium pliers retailing for $200-$300. Recently Van Staal has also introduced fully machined and sealed saltwater fly reels under the CVEX name retailing for $400-$600.

Explaining the reasons for their interest in Van Staal, Jeff Pontius, President of Zebco, said, “The Van Staal acquisition is more about where we are going than where we have been. It provides a product line and brand name at a super premium price position that complements our direction with Quantum. Van Staal also provides an opportunity to apply the level of engineering and technical capability we have built over the past several years. Plus, as fishermen, we think these are just awesome reels and we’ll be proud to both build them and fish them!”

“We are looking forward to providing a secure home for the Van Staal brand,” said Pontius, “and we want Van Staal owners and retailers to know that we will take a long-term view toward supporting and growing Van Staal.” Upon completion of the transaction, Zebco will assume responsibility for all warranty, service and parts supply. Zebco wishes to acknowledge and thank the principals of Reel Ventures, LLC, Rick Hersom and Michael Rigoli for their cooperation and support in assisting this transition. Future guidance on supply will be forthcoming when planning is complete and target dates can be provided.

“At this point, it is our intent to continue to support all three product lines, spinning, fly, and pliers,” said Pontius. “Going forward, we will create a small dedicated business unit for Van Staal and clearly we will be listening to the marketplace as we begin formulating plans for future development.” Download Microsoft Word Version of this statement here.


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