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30/03/2017
Dunlop for sale

FLYING D FLIES OFF

Dunlop, the biggest brand in squash, is to be sold to Japanese company Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Sports Direct, who reportedly bought the Dunlop Slazenger brand for 40million in 2004, is selling it in a surprise 112m deal.

The Dunlop ball is the official ball of the three main squash associations the World Squash Federation, the Professional Squash Association and England Squash. It is also a major squash-racket brand, sponsoring three time world champion Nick Matthew, former world champion Gregory Gaultier, world no.8 Ali Farag and world no.10 Alison Waters.

Dunlop began as a rubber manufacturing company in 1889, developed its tyre business and became one of the first multi-nationals until it was bought by BTR in 1985. The tyre company entered the sporting goods market in 1910, when it began to manufacture rubber golf balls at its base in Birmingham. The company introduced the Maxfl i golf ball in 1922. In 1924 it started manufacturing tennis balls and a year later began making tennis rackets.

The famous Dunlop fl ying D logo was introduced in 1960.
It has been a major golf and tennis brand for years, with Rod Laver and John McEnroe having used its tennis rackets. It also produced the iconic green-flash squash shoe and the Maxply squash racket. Sumitomo Rubber Industries, which was originally called the Dunlop Rubber Company, has a tyre business, as well as a sports division that makes tennis and golf equipment. It already owns the rights to the Dunlop brand for other markets, owning Srixon and Cleveland Golf, as well as rights to the Dunlop name in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. At the time of going to press, the sale had not been completed, but this is expected to be finalised in May 2017.


 

 

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