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Dorel Industries Inc. contact us | disclaimer | site map | français  

Dorel Industries was formed in 1987 as a result of a merger between Dorel Co. Ltd., a juvenile products company established in 1962 and Ridgewood Industries, a ready-to-assemble furniture company established in 1969. Over the years, as part of its growth strategy, Dorel has acquired various companies. The combination of these diverse businesses, along with Dorel's disciplined management, has allowed exceptional growth while maintaining above average returns.

Dorel's first acquisition subsequent to its 1987 IPO was Cosco in 1988. The following is a brief summary of the acquisitions that have been made to date. The information provided below pertains to the company at the time of acquisition, unless otherwise indicated.

When founded, Dorel Industries was originally a manufacturer of baby mattresses. Dorel grew and developed a complete line of juvenile products with items such as cribs, strollers and car seats. In Canada, the name Dorel became synonymous with quality juvenile furniture and products. Dorel (U.K.) Ltd. was established in 1988 to penetrate the juvenile market in the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

In 1988, Dorel purchased Cosco, Inc. of Columbus, Indiana, a company involved in the production of children's furniture and accessories, as well as the production of folding metal furniture. As one of the premier juvenile product manufacturers in the United States, this acquisition significantly increased Dorel's presence in the juvenile products industry throughout North America. It also introduced Dorel into the home furnishings segment.

In 1994, Dorel purchased Maxi-Miliaan B.V., an infant car seat manufacturer and distributor based in the Netherlands. The acquisition allowed Dorel to more effectively penetrate the European market. Maxi-Cosi is a well-recognized brand throughout Europe and has sales offices across the continent.

In June of 2000, Dorel acquired Safety 1st Inc., a publicly traded company in the United States with locations in Canada and Europe. Safety 1st is a recognized brand name in the North America and is a respected company in the child safety segment of the juvenile industry. The originator of the "Baby on Board" sign, today it's product line includes bed rails, feeding and potty trainers, infant / children's car seats, booster seats, strollers, play yards, high chairs, walkers, bouncers, bassinets, infant health care products, nursery monitors, infant bath tubs and bathing accessories, security gates and other safety aids.

In April of 2001, Dorel purchased Quint B.V. of Holland. Founded more than 50 years ago, Quint B.V. was an established designer and marketer of high-end baby strollers sold in European specialty shops under the "Quinny" brand. This acquisition allowed for a major push in Europe to significantly grow Dorel's juvenile business. The company was profitable at the time of purchase and was accretive to earnings in 2001.

These companies have been reorganized into two main groups under the Dorel Juvenile Group banner. The North American operations, Dorel Juvenile Group Dorel Juvenile Group USA are headquartered in Columbus, Indiana. The Dorel Juvenile Group Europe encompasses Maxi-Miliaan B.V., Quint B.V. and the Ampa Group.

Ampafrance Development SAS (Ampa) of Cholet, France was acquired by Dorel in February of 2003. Founded in 1875, Ampa was a privately-held organization known in Europe through its major brands: Bébé Confort, Babidéal, MonBébé and Baby Relax. Ampa is a leading force in the French market with long established distribution channels through independent retailers and mass merchants. Products, in all price categories, include prams, strollers, car seats, high chairs, beds, play yards, safety aids, apparel, as well as feeding accessories. Ampa has manufacturing facilities in France, Italy and Portugal and employs over 1,000 people.

Prior to this important acquisition, Dorel had a respectable market position in Northern Europe, including the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Belgium, whereas Ampa enjoys a commanding presence in areas of Southern Europe, such as France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The strategic benefits of this purchase are therefore highly significant. Major European market share was immediately gained and new distribution channels for Dorel's existing European products were created.

Dorel's juvenile products are recognized brand names that provide exceptional value to the consumer. In addition to Company-owned brands, Dorel also has a licensing arrangement with Eddie Bauer for infant car seats. The product line has been expanded even further through an intensive product development program driven by the Dorel Juvenile Group's Design and Development Center in Canton, Massachusetts and by the addition of Ampa's extensive line of products. This emphasis on new product introductions has allowed Dorel's juvenile segment to grow substantially over the years.

Home Furnishings
The Ridgewood division of Dorel Industries was founded in 1969 in Montreal, operating in the Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) furniture industry. RTA furniture is manufactured and packaged as component parts and is assembled by the consumer. It provides quality furniture to the consumer at an exceptional value. In 1987, as part of the Dorel / Ridgewood IPO, operations were moved to a new company-owned 108,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Cornwall, Ontario. Since its opening, this facility has expanded to over 500,000 square feet.

In 1990, Dorel acquired all of the shares of Charleswood Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of RTA furniture located near St. Louis, Missouri. In May 1998, another RTA manufacturer, Ameriwood Industries, with facilities located in Tiffin, Ohio and Dowagiac, Michigan, was acquired. Effective December 1998, Ameriwood was combined with Charleswood under the Ameriwood name. In September 2003, Dorel further broadened its portfolio of RTA products and brands with the acquisition of Carina Furniture Industries. Today all plants are run as a cohesive unit under Ameriwood.

With the acquisition of Cosco in 1988, Dorel expanded its Home Furnishings product line by adding step stools, ladders as well as folding metal tables and chairs. Now named Cosco Home and Office, this unit has added many new products to its line and has added the Samsonite brand name to its offerings.

In 1994 Dorel converted its Montreal facilities into a manufacturer of metal furniture. Renamed Dorel Home Products, this factory now produces futons. With imports from Asia becoming an increasingly competitive factor, Dorel created Dorel Asia to capitalize on this new exciting source of products. This division imports items such as leather recliners, dinettes, children's furniture and other specialty products.

In January 2004, Dorel added a significant new line of consumer products to its businesses with the acquisition of Pacific Cycle, making Dorel one of the largest marketers of recreational and leisure products in North America. Pacific Cycle is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of high quality branded bicycles and other recreational products, best known for its Schwinn, Mongoose, GT and Roadmaster bicycle brands. Pacific Cycle sells more bicycles than anyone else in the U.S. bicycle industry and its portfolio of powerful brands is one of the strongest in the sporting goods industry.

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, Pacific was established in 1977 and over time has achieved success by combining a powerful brand portfolio with low cost Far East sourcing, efficient supply chain management and multi-channel retail distribution. Pacific Cycle's brands address the full spectrum of demographics, price preferences, image and usage that are critical to targeting key consumer segments within each distribution channel. This broad distribution has enabled Pacific Cycle to garner an industry-leading 27% share of total U.S. bicycle sales including 44% of the bicycle sales in the mass merchant sector.

With an 88% market awareness, Schwinn is an American icon dating back to 1895, has a reputation for delivering high quality bicycles and is one of the most widely recognized brands in the sporting goods industry. Mongoose has a 73% market awareness and is particularly well known in the aggressive, performance-oriented BMX bicycle and freestyle riding market. The strength of Pacific's brand portfolio also allows it to license its power brands domestically and internationally, thereby delivering profitable revenue while expanding the presence of the brands into additional product categories and markets.

© Copyright 2006, Dorel Industries, Inc.