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June 16, 2011 - London

Rapala VMC Corporation
Stock Exchange Release
June 16, 2011 at 4.30 pm


Distribution 50/50 Joint Venture for UK


Rapala VMC Corporation ("Rapala") and Shimano Inc. ("Shimano"), the leading manufacturer of rods and reels worldwide, have signed an agreement to strengthen their European distribution alliance by merging their existing UK distribution activities into a true 50/50 joint venture distribution company. This joint venture company, Shimano Normark UK Ltd ("JV"), currently Shimano UK Ltd, will enter into a distribution agreement with Rapala and its subsidiary Dynamite Baits Ltd regarding Rapala's current product offering in the UK. Shimano UK and Dynamite Baits UK distribution activities will be merged. Dynamite branded bait manufacturing activities will remain fully in Rapala's control under Dynamite Baits Ltd. JV will distribute in the UK Shimano reels and rods, G.Loomis rods, Power Pro fishing line and other Shimano fishing tackle products and Rapala, Dynamite Baits, Sufix, Storm and other Rapala fishing tackle products on an exclusive basis.


"This is a historic and very important new step in the development of our distribution alliance, which will be a win-win concept for both parties and create a strong fishing tackle distributor in UK outperforming competition", says Jorma Kasslin, CEO of Rapala. "We are happy to extend our distribution alliance and to join forces with Rapala in UK, which is one of the largest market area in fishing tackle in Europe", say Marc van Rooy, Managing Director of Shimano Europe Holding B.V. and Pierangelo Zanetta, Managing Director of Shimano Europe Fishing Holding B.V.


This transaction, subject to the board approval of Shimano Inc and Rapala VMC Oyj is expected to be completed and closed by end of August, 2011. It will have a minor effect on 2011 net sales but it is expected to improve Rapala's profitability in 2012.


Already before this transaction, Rapala distributes Shimano rods and reels, G.Loomis rods, Power Pro fishing lines and other Shimano branded products in South Africa and 27 countries in Europe. Shimano distributes Rapala branded products in 4 countries in Europe. Rapala and Shimano are already having 50/50 Joint Venture distribution companies in Russia, Ukraine and Czech Republic and Slovak Republic and Shimano owns 33 % minority shareholding in Rapala's distribution companies in Hungary and Romania.




Jorma Kasslin
Chief Executive Officer


For further information:
Jorma Kasslin, President and Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 9 7562 540
Jussi Ristimäki, Chief Financial Officer, tel. +358 9 7562 540
Olli Aho, Company Counsel, tel. +358 9 7562 540  


Distribution: NASDAQ OMX Helsinki and main media
Rapala VMC Corporation (Rapala) is a leading fishing tackle company and the global market leader in fishing lures, treble hooks and fishing related knives and tools. The Group also has a strong global position in other fishing categories and it is one of the leading distributors of outdoor, hunting and winter sport products in the Nordic countries. The Group has the largest distribution network in the industry. The main manufacturing facilities are located in Finland, France, Estonia, Russia, China and the UK. The Group brand portfolio includes the leading brand in the industry, Rapala, and other global brands like VMC, Sufix, Storm, Blue Fox, Luhr Jensen, Williamson, Dynamite Baits, Marttiini and Peltonen. The Group, with net sales of EUR 269 million in 2010, employs more than 2 000 people in 33 countries. Rapala's share is listed and traded on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange since 1998.



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Source: Rapala VMC Oyj via Thomson Reuters ONE



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