Hevea was spun off by Vredestein in 2004. At the time, Hevea - which has since changed its name to Dunlop Protective Footwear - sold waterproof and protective footwear under the Dunlop and Viking brands. Dunlop Protective Footwear manufactures safety boots for industrial use in, for example, the food processing sector, the oil & gas industry and the agricultural sector. The organisation has developed a proprietary production technology for the manufacture of polyurethane boots, known as PUROFORT®. Using this technology, Dunlop Protective Footwear is able to add properties that are of critical importance in industrial applications. Viking is a marketing company; it has outsourced the manufacture of shoes to third parties. Viking products are targeted at the Scandinavian leisure market.
The management buyout initiated a new strategic focus on international growth. Dunlop and Viking have meanwhile been separated, creating two independent entities. This places them on a stronger footing to realize their growth potential. At the same time, considerable investments have been made in both brands, as well as production capacity at Dunlop Protective Footwear (which has increased by more than 50% since the buyout).
Viking was sold in early 2007, allowing the management team to focus exclusively on the Dunlop Protective Footwear organisation. Key investments in sales and marketing will allow Dunlop Protective Footwear to expand further over the coming years. To this end, management will focus on the European, American and Canadian markets in particular.
Click here for an interview with Allard Bijlsma, who joined as CEO of Dunlop Protective Footwear in 2012 to implement the above mentioned strategy.