Zebco buys four Shakespeare fishing line brands

TULSA, Okla. – Zebco W.C. Bradley, best known as a rod and reel company, has acquired four brands of fishing line from Shakespeare Co. LLC, Zebco said in a release yesterday upon completion of the transaction.

The purchased fishing line brands are Cajun Red, Omniflex, Supreme and Outcast. Details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to enter the fishing line market," Jeff Pontius, Zebco president said. "The acquired business is a small but growing ‘beachhead’ for us in the line market and we plan to expand on it over time."

The transaction is a result of a Federal Trade Commission decision. Shakespeare's parent company, K2 Inc., is owned by Jarden Corp., which recently acquired Pure Fishing Inc. Because Pure Fishing already has the leading market position on fishing line with brands like Berkley Trilene, Stren and Spiderwire, the FTC required Shakespeare to sell its fishing line business, Zebco said.

"We are excited about the line opportunities," said Bob Bagby, Zebco vice president of marketing. "Cajun Red pioneered the idea of red line which quickly becomes less visible in use since red is the first color absorbed by water. The red line continues to grow in popularity and we’re confident we can further build on its momentum."

Pontius expanded on the company's plans, saying that although transfer of ownership to Zebco has already occurred, the change will not be apparent to consumers for some time as the existing inventory moves through distribution. "The brands we acquired will remain the names on the product," he said. "They are good, popular brands. The transition should be relatively seamless for all customers."

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Zebco will ultimately move the line business to its facilities in Tulsa and Claremore, Okla., but does not foresee any changes to its workforce needs over this time.

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