Bollé Brands Acquires Spy Optic

Sep 19, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Bollé Brands has purchased Californian eyewear company Spy Optics for an undisclosed fee.

Bollé Brands was created following its acquisition by A&M Capital Europe a year ago and includes Bollé, Bollé Safety, Serengeti, Cébé and H2Optix. Spy Optics was founded in 1994 and was, until this point, a privately held company. Spy predominantly produce snow and MX eyewear and are probably best known for selling Happy Lens goggles. which block short wave blue light but allow long wave blue light to enter. Long wave blue light that supposedly acts as a mood enhancer and increases alertness.

The company mainly produces snow and moto goggles, but don't be surprised to see more of a push towards mountain bikes in future. The acquisition was described by Peter Smith, CEO of Bollé Brands, as a way to establish Bolle as "one of the key players in the premium performance sport and lifestyle eyewear and helmets markets."

He continued: "We are excited to have acquired such an amazing brand. Spy Optic has its own unique and irreverent identity with huge growth potential in North America, its home market, and internationally where Spy Optic will leverage our Bolle Brands international distribution network. Our dedicated approach, support, and investment will drive exciting new developments in product innovation and design which will form the basis of considerable global growth."


Bollé Brands is hoping the deal will scale up its own presence in North America, while Spy will apparently benefit from product development and international distribution from Bollé. Bollé, said: “The combination will significantly bolster Bolle Brands’ scale in North America, will allow Spy Optic to benefit from increased investment in product development and distribution, and will facilitate an international expansion of the Spy Optic brand beyond its current footprint.”

Spy Optic president Stephen Roseman and his team will remain in place after the acquisition.


65 Comments

  • 33 0
 Holy Bollé, I did not see that one coming.
  • 13 3
 *did not Spy that one coming.
  • 3 3
 @Jaguar83: 510 all over again
  • 3 0
 @joemoto: I never understand this complaint. Adidas purchased Five Ten in 2011, they have only recently started co-branding. Did people really see a decrease of Five Ten quality back in 2011?
  • 1 0
 @RyanErwin: I just purchased the new 510 impacts and they don't seem to be as good as the 1st generation. More refined but the contact point feels harsher to me.
  • 2 1
 @RyanErwin: People just like to complain
  • 15 1
 I've owned a lot of Spy products, and have always liked them as a brand. Quality has always been great. Let's hope this doesn't mess that up.
  • 2 0
 I use both Spy and Bolle, and I can tell you both have really awesome products Smile
  • 1 0
 Why would this mess up Spy?
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Anytime one company is acquired by another things will change. I'm not saying I think it will mess up Spy, I'm just saying I hope Spy keeps being a great brand after this acquisition.
  • 1 0
 @man-wolf: I hope the same. Spy makes some great stuff.

Hopefully they're wise enough to let Spy just keep doing it's thing and just share resources. Bolle has an amazing ID guy behind their stuff right now. If they share distribution channels, factories, tech, things like that but let the brands operate separate they'll be fine.

But yeah... it's really for things to get hose. Just look at what Vista is doing to Bell/Giro/Blackburn.
  • 9 1
 And another one bites the dust...
  • 9 2
 Bollé are doing great things. This is a good move for both involved.
  • 1 0
 That's how I felt when I read this...
  • 1 0
 @jamesdunford: Are they? Vista just offloaded them, and you rarely, if ever see someone in the US wearing them. They just aren't a household brand like Spy, Oakley, or Smith.
  • 2 0
 @motard5: Bolle has made big improvements with their products in the last couple years. And Vista offloading them was the best thing that could have happened.
  • 7 0
 *Spy optics now available on the seasonal discounts table.
  • 4 1
 Lots of spy fanboys here. Their sunglasses frame quality sucks and their lens tech is mediocre. They are above dragon but below Oakley and Smith. Their polarized stuff is real cheap
  • 2 0
 Have you bought any Smtih stuff lately? I have and the quality has some big issues now
  • 1 0
 My Joakley mx goggles fell apart and my Spy’s are still going strong!
  • 1 0
 @bizutch: no problem with Smith, especially given their lifetime warranty. They just sent me a new goggle after the foam in my old ones decomposed. They were 7 years old.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: Does smith replace f*cked up lenses?
  • 1 0
 @bobthestapler: I think only if there’s a defect.
  • 1 0
 @bobthestapler: they replaced my glasses after the coating started to peel off. They were two years old and I wear them literally 2/3 of my waking hours. My job requires safety lenses and since some of the Smith glasses come with a Z87+ rating I can wear them. I do look like Hollywood waking around the labs in my Hideouts but PPE is PPE. The replacements are nearly two now and just starting so show signs of the same coating issue so soon enough I'll be sending them out again.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: the defect is if you look through them... they scratch.
  • 3 0
 Damn, I really love my Spy goggles and glasses and hope they dont do anything to ruin them. Spy has really made some big improvements in their quality in the last few years.
  • 5 2
 Had some spy glasses once, still my favorite. Lost them in a lake.
  • 1 0
 Yup, I really dig the Dirk. Talked to a rep @ Crankworx last year said that they were going to discontinue that model so I bought a couple pair. Still seems you can get them though so not sure if they ever did.
  • 1 0
 I still buy leftover Logan's. Best optics I've ever had.
  • 2 1
 Do you go swimming with a Fullface helmet?
  • 1 0
 I have a pair of 7 year old targas, still wear them, they are a perfect match for my open face helmet
  • 4 2
 Spy's snow line is top notch. We're about to see this brand blow up in MTB.
  • 5 1
 Spy is top notch and Bolle goggles are cheap $10 goggles you buy last min before a snowboard/ ski trip. They usually have them on the bargain shelf so they’re hoping slapping the spy logo will get people to actually buy the googles
  • 4 1
 @Jcolis1904: I always find it odd when a brand with cheap products acquires a high quality brand. I know that the targeted consumer with be more diversified but it still annoys me.
  • 2 0
 Hopefully Bolle is doing well enough with their low end lines to support Spy with a cash infusion. I'd hate to see Spy go south.
  • 5 0
 @Jcolis1904: The irony is that over here it's the other way round. You see plenty of higher end Bolle stuff but I have only every encountered Spy goggles and sunglasses massively discounted on spinning racks. I'm guessing Bolle wants to sort this out on both sides of the atlantic.
  • 1 0
 I never see both. No reason to ever buy somthing other than the mid range 100% @Fix-the-Spade:
  • 3 0
 @Ride406orDie: In consumer products often high volume low price products will generate far more revenue than niche products which is why they end up getting large enough to buy a premium brand. They have the cash and are allured by the high margins (what business person doesn't love margins), and so go out and acquire something that fits that part of their industry. The problem is in most cases they don't understand premium branding. They walk in and go how can we cut costs and raises prices because...margins. Hopefully this isn't the case with spy!
  • 2 0
 @freeridejerk888: I pledge my allegiance to ESS bought from the military surplus store.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: for riding? I know not for shooting. . . . . .
  • 1 0
 @truehipster: ESS Ice make for really good riding glasses and Flight Decks for DH. They're also good for shooting and people who want to be tacticool, but we don't talk about those people.
  • 1 0
 The goggle game has changed a lot. Check out Moto 100% is everywhere. that was always the big O's domain. And whatever happened to Utopia?
  • 1 0
 Utopia faltered because of financial problems. They were fun while they lasted, especially in the beginning. I remember very well an ”unsponsored” Paul Basagoitia all decked in Utopia logos (sic) winning JoyRide and then being in the conversation for bike sponsorship with Cannondale. He ended up with Kona and we all know the rest of the story. Not mention Shaun Palmer racing Sea Otter on a black Tazer FSR in Jeans, Utopia wifebeater and military style pisspot helmet. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Did Spy sell because they were strapped for cash?
  • 1 0
 Probably sold because Bolle offered them a fat suitcase full of cash. Most private companies either end up selling to the big players or they fail after the founders retire.
  • 1 0
 @srjacobs: Rent in Carlsbad, CA ain't cheap.
  • 2 0
 I saw some rumours going round on VitalMX earlier in the year that they weren't doing very well.
  • 1 1
 Bolle Safety products are very high quality at a fairly low cost. I'm interested to see whether the merger produces a Spy product I'd actually consider buying.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if they got Bolle'd into selling
  • 1 0
 I see this almost as I see the 5.10 Adidas merger, only good things can come of it.
  • 1 0
 Predominantly snow and mx? Aren’t mx and mtb goggles the same?
  • 2 3
 Depends. MTB goggles require bit more ventilation. This sometimes means less foam and more vents. Some brands have goggles that can do double duty.
  • 2 1
 Yes. Smith is the only company that has tried to differentiate the two. See the MTB Squad goggles.
  • 2 0
 @santacruz-ing: and they are great. Not sure why other brands insist on closing the goggles up with foam which just bring more sweat and more fogging. I never ever had my Squads fog up.
  • 1 0
 @Archimonde: ripping off the foam on my 100% is the best upgrade I’ve done for a good while. Fogging -> solved.
  • 2 1
 @lubb1: Unless you have contacts. They dry up like sand paper within 100 feet.
  • 1 0
 I always thought moto Goggs were tougher/more stout and offered more protection. I could be wrong but I would hate to be peppered by roost from a 450 in a set flimsy MTB goggles.
  • 1 0
 @lubb1: great to know that as I was contemplating doing this on my other 100% racecraft pair.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: pretty sure there’s no difference in frame or lense strength. At least from the big name brands. Moro goggles have to keep the dirt and dust out more, MTB goggles need to breath better. At least with Smith I think the only difference is the foam.
  • 1 0
 Good thing the CEO thinks Spy has a "irreverent identity" haha
  • 1 0
 They kind of do. Spy is a big sponsor of Ken Block and the whole Hoonigan thing. I have a few pair of Spy sunglasses and Bolle googles. I like the quality of both of them. I also appreciate their price point. Putting the two together makes me very optimistic.
  • 1 3
 Isn't Bolle one of those goggle brands you can buy from AliExpress or Wish? wtf? I have Spy Snow Goggles, i like them a lot. I hope they don't turn into a shitty budget eyewear brand.
  • 3 3
 I’m certain a spy can obtain the undisclosed fee
  • 1 2
 To the trash they go...

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