HB Performance Systems Inc., parent company of Hayes Bicycle Group, recently announced the acquisition of Answer Products Inc., including the Answer and Manitou brands of bicycle handlebars, stems, and suspension components. The company will be renamed HB Suspension Products and will be integrated into the Hayes Bicycle Group division, which currently manufactures Hayes bicycle disc brakes and Sun Ringlé wheels, rims, and hubs. The group also acquired Wheelsmith Fabrication just this past October.
HB Performance Systems (formerly Hayes Brake) and Answer Products have collaborated on a number of projects over the years, including the now-ubiquitous 74mm post-mount disc brake standard back in 1997. Although this acquisition was just finalised on November 3, rumors of Answer Products' auction-block status have been circulating for some time now, with Cyclingnews receiving firm evidence as such as early as November 2005.
Details on the integration strategy and business transition for the new acquisition will not be announced until early 2007, although company officials did confirm that the Manitou brand name would (wisely) be retained. According to HB Performance Systems President and CEO Rand McNally, "Bringing together complementary businesses that offer premium brands to the bicycle industry is part of our strategy in growing the Hayes Bicycle Group division. As an engineering company with 60 years of experience in design and manufacturing, HB Performance Systems delivers a superior level of engineering expertise and product manufacturing excellence, which it will now do for Manitou products."
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