Amer Sports Oyj (formerly Amer-Yhtymä Oyj, ) is the largest manufacturer of sporting equipment in the world. Established in 1950, the company is based in Helsinki, Finland. Initially an industrial conglomerate with interests as diverse as shipowning, tobacco products and publishing, Amer has gradually evolved into a multinational firm devoted to the production and marketing of sporting goods. Today, the company employs approximately 6,600 people and owns a portfolio of sports brands including Wilson, Atomic, Suunto, Precor and Salomon.
The company began life as a tobacco
manufacturer and distributor, Amer-Tupakka, in 1950 and acquired the right to produce and sell Philip Morris
cigarettes in Finland in 1961. In the 1960s, the significant profits from the company's tobacco interests were invested in three commercial ships. A publishing
division was added in 1970 with the purchase of the Finnish company Weilin+Göös, and the company listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange
in 1977, four years after changing its name to Amer-Yhtymä (Amer Group). In the 1980s Amer moved into the vehicle import industry by acquiring the firm Korpivaara, and with it the exclusive rights to import and distribute such brands as Citroën
. The decade also saw the company expand into the textiles and plastics markets.
Focus on sport
In 1986 Amer established a sports division after acquiring a majority stake in the golf equipment maker MacGregor Golf
from Jack Nicklaus
. Despite this, the company was involved in the sports equipment market as early as 1974, when it bought over the hockey gear maker then known as Koho-Tuote
. These interests were sold in 1986. Three years later, Amer acquired the Chicago
-based Wilson Sporting Goods Company, a leading producer of golf clubs, racquets and other sporting equipment, marking a major change in strategy for the company. Further acquisitions followed in the shape of the Austrian ski manufacturer Atomic in 1994 and the Finnish sports instrument maker Suunto in 1999. The American baseball and softball bat firm Demarini
was purchased a year later, falling under the Wilson division. During this time, many of the business areas no longer deemed to be core
, although the company retained its tobacco business until 2004 when it was sold back to Philip Morris. In 2005, Amer acquired the outdoor sports company Salomon from adidas
for €485 million. In the same year, the company officially changed its name to Amer Sports Corporation.
Amer divides its operations into three business units: winter
and outdoor sports, ball sports
(consisting simply of Wilson
) and fitness
(of which all products carry the Precor
brand). The winter and outdoor business segment is the largest, contributing 50% of Amer Sports' revenue in 2007. The group produces products under seven flagship brands: Salomon
, Wilson, Precor, Suunto
(the latter two having previously been subsidiaries
of Salomon when under the ownership of Adidas). Other smaller brands held by the group include Volant
The company's global headquarters are located in Helsinki, Finland, with manufacturing and sales locations worldwide. Amer's North American headquarters were moved from Portland, Oregon to a location in Ogden, Utah in 2007.