Rapala VMC completes 13 Fishing deal

Rapala VMC Corporation has bought James Coble’s remaining 40 per cent shareholding of DQC International, the owner of the 13 Fishing rod and reel brand.

Rapala VMC president and CEO Lars Ollberg explained: “We have now come full circle and Rapala will enter full-time into the US rod and reel market. Rapala has already set its highly qualified, nationwide sales force on ‘full alert’.

“The time is right to start selling this innovative brand as the market slowly normalises following the Covid uncertainties.

“13 Fishing already has a proven track record of building a dynamic brand and developing innovative products. In a relatively short time, it has successfully wedged itself into the world’s most competitive fishing tackle market. We thank James Coble for creating 13 Fishing with such passion and wish him all the success in reaching new horizons in his career.”

The 13 Fishing brand and products are unique in that they offer a refreshing alternative to standard market staples. Within this diverse brand portfolio, 13 Fishing offers freshwater and in-shore rods and reels and is a market leader in the dedicated ice fishing market.

The acquisition gives Rapala VMC the opportunity to consolidate 13 Fishing into Rapala USA and continue to strengthen the company’s market position within the US market.

Rapala’s global manufacturing and purchasing strength, backed with a proven US distribution centre and supply chain, offers retailers world-class service it says they can count on.

Rapala VMC Corporation has one of the largest sales and distribution networks covering every corner of the US market and the expertise and positive relationships fostered by the Rapala USA sales team will clearly place 13 Fishing in a strong market position.

In a separate move, Rapala VMC Corporation has sold the group’s entire injection moulding business to a Finnish mould and injection-moulded parts manufacturer Muottituote Group Oy with an agreement signed in late December 2023.

With the transaction, Muottituote Group Oy acquires Rapala VMC’s subsidiary KL-Teho Oy’s real estate, located in Korpilahti, Finland, along with the injection moulding operations, equipment and personnel.

Lars added: The completed transaction is part of Rapala’s strategy to focus on core business and release capital. Rapala has been collaborating with Muottituote Group for decades and, with this deal, the collaboration is further intensified.

We have entered into a multi-year procurement agreement, ensuring timely deliveries of components to the Rapala VMC Group. This supports the new One More Turn strategy, aimed at accelerating inventory turnover and improving cash flow.”

Tuomas Akkanen, a member of Rapala VMC Corporation’s Global Management Team and Executive Vice President, Head of Group Supply Chain, added: “Rapala wants its own factories to focus on the production of finished products and acquire components from contract manufacturers. Muottituote Group can focus on developing quality and efficiency in its area of expertise, better than us.”

As part of the deal, around 20 employees will transfer to Muottituote Group. The factory’s operations will continue without interruption, maintaining the same functions as before.


Pictured: Jim Coble of 13 Fishing (left) with Rapala VMC president and CEO Lars Ollberg.