Swedish camping brand Dometic will acquire Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters, a South African brand specializing in vehicle-based outdoor adventure.
Privately owned Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters has 320 full-time employees at its Johannesburg headquarters. It sells its roof racks, rooftop tents, storage products, and load bars on four continents through 600 dealers and e-channels. About half of the sales come from e-commerce.
No details on the cost of the acquisition, announced today, were initially made public. But net sales last fiscal year topped $35 million, and Front Runner claims a healthy operating margin. The move expands Dometic’s already expansive line into a new segment for the Swedish brand.
I tested a Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters Slimline II roof rack system and can attest to the rugged off-road capability and aesthetic. The rack system is platform-based, offering flexibility to carry a vast array of gear or supplies in addition to the bicycle and kayak mounts I have on board.
Dometic Acquires Front Runner Outfitters
Dometic is already a well-known and respected supplier of almost every item that could go into an RV or other outdoor recreation vehicle. These products include refrigeration, climate and power control, cooktops, sinks, toilets, and awnings.
The brand identified that the Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters’ high-quality product line only strengthens their vehicle-based outdoor market position.
“I am pleased to welcome Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters and its employees to Dometic. With this acquisition, we are strengthening our offering and distribution network for the outdoor market,” Juan Vargues, Dometic President and CEO, said.
“Our strategy for profitable expansion in Mobile Living is built on a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. This is our fourth announced acquisition this year, and our pipeline of potential future acquisitions remains strong.”
Dometic is headquartered in Stockholm and sells in approximately 100 countries with a well-established global distribution and dealer network. The brand employs 6,500 people worldwide and had net sales of $1.8 billion in 2020.