Samsonite packs for all alternatives

Late last week Samsonite, the global luggage manufacturer, announced that it was to pay USD 85m for Gregory Mountain Products, the US-based backpack manufacturer. This acquisition is Samsonite’s third in as many months, with their buying spree starting in April when they paid USD 27.5m for the French luggage manufacturer Societe de Gestion des Boutiques, producers of the Lipault luggage brand. This was followed by the USD 85m purchase of US-based Speck Products, the designer and distributor of protective cases for personal electronic devices.

The common theme behind the acquisitions so far would appear to be Samsonite’s desire to expand beyond the realms of their current typical luggage offerings. Lipault is described by Samsonite as a “youthful French luggage brand known for its fashionable designs”. The company clearly states that “Speck is our first foray outside of what is considered to be the traditional luggage space” and with the global smartphone and tablets market continuing to grow, clearly offers Samsonite new market growth opportunities, whereas Gregory Mountain Products will provide a “perfect complement to Samsonite’s High Sierra product offering and significantly broadens the company’s presence in the outdoor category”.

Whilst these three acquisitions have cost Samsonite just under USD 200m, there was speculation as far back as August 2013 that the company had earmarked up to USD 1bn to spend on potential acquisitions over the next 2 to 3 years so these deals, whilst taking time to come to fruition, may well be the start of the Samsonite spending spree.

Filed under: France, luggage, US, acquisition