Press Release October 16, 2006
Bont/Raps European Distribution Agreement
Bont Australia and Raps Holland have announced that they have signed a long term distribution agreement for Europe. The two companies have had a very good relationship over the years and both companies will benefit from technology sharing. The agreement will also include both companies manufacturing parts of skates for one another which will increase with time depending on which company has the best technology or manufacturing expertise. The agreement will come into affect from this October with Raps distributing Bont’s 06/07 long track ice products throughout Europe. The agreement covers all of Europe apart from Switzerland and the UK where Bont has an existing agreement. Apart from the speed skates, Raps will also distribute Bont’s Cycle shoes, recreational skates, and clothing.
Alexander Bont said “I have always admired Raps as a company. They have a great distribution network, especially in Holland and I get along very well with Mark and Rik. I got to know the Raps brand very well when I used to live in Holland training for long track in Groningen in the north of Holland for a few months each year. Over the years I met up with Raps at a number of trade shows and always kept in contact with them via email. The distribution agreement is very exciting but so too is the manufacturing agreement where we can share technology. In an overcrowded market, Bont and Raps should both be able to gain greater shelf space in shops by offering twice as many products. Raps is situated in Almelo in the east of Holland which coincidentally is the city that my father was born and many of my relatives live so I can combine business meetings with family reunions which is nice.”
Mark Cuperus said “…This is a very interesting partnership for both parties as there is mutual admiration and both company are known for their innovations. We at Raps have always looked at the Bont boots for the fit of the boot and lasts. Of course the market, dealers and consumers, will benefit of this partnership also.