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Rapala and Shimano to create giant new UK tackle company

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Two of the world’s biggest tackle companies, Rapala and Shimano, have announced a joint venture to launch arguably the UK’s biggest tackle company.

At the same time, Rapala has revealed that it has acquired Advanced Carp Equipment (ACE) and plans to invest significant funding into making it a big carp brand.

ACE will join prestigious brands like Shimano, Rapala, PowerPro, Sufix, Dynamite, G.Loomis and Storm in the new company, called Shimano Normark UK.

Both dramatic pieces of news were announced on the eve of the EFTTEX trade show in Amsterdam.

The new company will provide sales, marketing and product development in the UK for all its brands. With some exceptions, overseas sales will be handled by Shimano, Rapala or Normark through their established channels.

Dynamite Baits, acquired by Rapala last year, will become a production and logistics unit focused totally on production, delivery and export sales.

Craig Brew has been appointed Managing Director of Shimano Normark UK, with Dynamite’s Pete Chandler becoming Sales, Marketing and R&D Director.

Brew told Angling International: “We have created one of the UK’s biggest brand portfolios. Now we have to make it work. Our field sales team, telesales operation and online ordering system give us a lot of flexibility and more customer focus. We need to address those issues that customers have raised with us about availability and delivery. Working from our UK facility will help us do that. We want to become a one-stop shop for our customers.”

Following the acquisition of ACE, both Shimano and Rapala have agreed to develop a wider range of carp accessories and match terminal tackle under the ACE, Shimano and Tribal brands. ACE founder Cottis, now a Rapala employee, will support the operation with his extensive R&D knowledge. However, products launched under the ACE brand will not encroach on Shimano carp categories such as rods and reels.

“With regard to the development of ACE, we will look at the brand strategy going forward and make sure we create synergies and not an overlap with existing products,” added Brew.

The purchase of ACE is further evidence of Rapala’s determination to become a major force in the carp market. Cottis is regarded by Rapala and Shimano as the best carp product developer in the industry.

Shimano Normark UK’s Marketing Manager Steve Cole added: “Rapala wants to be the best at everything and aims to make ACE the biggest carp brand. It feels there is growth in carp and that it has a big opportunity.”

Angling International also understands that Cottis has been working with Dynamite and Sufix for some time to develop their ranges. Sufix Synergy Carp and Sufix 832 Carp Braid are already on the market and Sufix Carp Rigs are in the pipeline.

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