Huffy parent buys Colorado mountain bike maker

Almost finished bikes on the assembly line at what was Huffy’s Celina, Ohio plant in 1986. FILE
Almost finished bikes on the assembly line at what was Huffy’s Celina, Ohio plant in 1986. FILE

The parent company of locally based Huffy has made a key acquisition.

UWHK Limited, formerly Emersion International, has finalized the purchase of a Colorado-based bicycle manufacturer, Niner Bikes, the former company said Monday.

UWHK is intent on expanding what it called the “premium off-road bicycle brand.”

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“Niner is expected to gain market share through independent bicycle dealers and international distribution,” the company said in a statement.

UWHK Limited is an investment firm in global outdoor brands and a division of United Wheels Limited. United Wheels is the majority shareholder in Miami Twp.-based Huffy Corp. and owner of Allite, Inc. and VAAST Bicycles, to be launched later in 2018, the company said in its announcement. Each company, including Niner, maintains separate operations.

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This announcement will not affect employment at Huffy, a spokeswoman for UWHK said in an email.

“Acquiring Niner represents important opportunities for UWHK and Niner,” said Bruno Maier, UWHK managing director of new business, who is based in the Dayton area. “With UWHK’s support, Niner can focus on quality off-road product R & D and effective strategies to maximize gains.”

Chris Sugai continues as president of Niner Bikes, in Fort Collins, Colo.

“We are in-step with the vision and fast-track global plans for Niner. Our leadership team and culture, which are synonymous with our brand, will be maintained,” Sugai said in the same statement. “UWHK’s support allows the dedicated team at Niner to keep producing high quality bikes.”

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

UWHK is a holding company of outdoor brands owned by United Wheels. UWHK seeks outdoor companies and brands to add to its portfolio of Huffy Corp., as well as Allite, Inc., and VAAST Bicycles.

Niner Bikes was founded in 2004 to focus on 29-inch mountain bikes.