Thule Group

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Thule Group AB (publ)
Publicly traded Aktiebolag
Traded as Nasdaq StockholmTHULE
Industry Consumer goods
Founded Hillerstorp, Småland, Sweden (1942)
Founder Erik Thulin
Headquarters Malmö, Sweden
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Bengt Baron
(Board Member)
Products Car roof boxes, roof racks, bike racks, laptop and camera bags and backpacks
Revenue SEK 5,320 million (2015)[1]
SEK 825 million (2015)[1]
Profit SEK 587 million (2015) [1]
Total assets SEK 6,899 million (2015)[1]
Total equity SEK 3,228 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
2,200 (September 2014)[1]
Website ThuleGroup.com
Thule.com

Thule Group (/ˈtl/) is the owner of a collection of brands all related to the outdoors and various types of transportation solutions. It is the market leader in cargo carriers for automobiles and a leading company in the outdoor and bags market, with 4,700 points of sale in 136 countries worldwide. The Thule motto is "Bring your life".[1]

History[edit]

Thule was founded in 1942 by the Thulin family in Hillerstorp, southern Sweden. The company grew steadily, especially in the 1960s when Thule specialized in roof racks and other automobile accessories facilitating for the car owner to bring their outdoor equipment and luggage with them. In 1979, Thule was sold to Eldon, a company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, which continued to develop the company. In 1999 Eldon was acquired by the private equity firm EQT and delisted. Thule was then sold to the UK-based private equity firm Candover in 2004, which embarked on significant M&A activity, growing the turnover more than three times, adding new product lines such as tow-bars, car-trailers, snow-chains, RV products and bags for electronic devices.

Thule was acquired by Nordic Capital in May 2007 but forced into a restructuring in December 2008 at the height of the Global Financial Crisis, resulting in the lending bank consortium receiving an equity stake in the company. Nordic Capital acquired the remainder of the company in December 2010 and listed Thule on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in November 2014 through an IPO.[1]

Thule Group has an annual tradition of donating backpacks and school supplies to the children of Casa de la Esperanza, an award-winning housing program for migrant farm workers and their families in the US. Since 2010, Thule Group has been the main sponsor of RBU, Sweden’s National Association for Disabled Children and Adolescents.

Products[edit]

Thule is the largest and most well-known of the brands that make up the group.[2] The Thule product line includes everything from car roof boxes, bike racks, roof racks, snow chains, boat and horse trailers, to laptop and camera bags and backpacks.[3] The other brands that form the Thule Group brand portfolio are the US-founded cover and bag company Case Logic,[4] trailer manufacturers Fogelsta (Sweden)[5] and Brenderup (Denmark),[6] US-based UWS that manufactures toolboxes for pickup trucks,[7] and König (Italy)[8] with a manufacture of snow chains for commercial vehicles. Since June 2011, the Canadian brand Chariot (multifunctional child carriers) is also part of the Thule Group.[9]

Sportworks bike rack on a Volvo B7RLE GoBus in 2017

Timeline[edit]

  • 1962 – Introduction of Thule sport and cargo carriers
  • 2004 – Acquisition of Köning (snow chains)
  • 2005 – Acquisition of Omnistor (RV products), rebranded Thule 2009
  • 2005 – Acquisition of Sportworks car rack product line[10]
  • 2007 – Acquisition of Case Logic (bags for electronic devices), premium line rebranded Thule 2010
  • 2007 – Acquisition of UWS (work gear)
  • 2011 – Acquisition of Chariot Carriers, rebranded Thule 2013
  • 2013 – Introduction of Thule sport and travel bags
  • 2014 – The towbar and trailer businesses are divested
  • 2015 – The snow chain business (König) is divested
  • 2016 – Acquisition of GMG B.V. (Yepp child bike seats)

In June 2011 Thule Group launched a concept store near the Mobilia shopping center in Malmö, on the premises that previously housed Malmö Strumpfabrik.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]