Washington state-based Eddyline Kayaks is increasing its production capacity and distribution network thanks to an equity boost from Bentonville firm RZC Investments. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
RZC Investments is the direct investment firm of Runway Group, founded by Steuart and Tom Walton—grandsons and heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton. The brothers have been committed to growing the outdoor recreation community in northwest Arkansas for over a decade. Eddyline is RZC’s first venture in the world of paddlesports.
“We’re excited about partnering with Eddyline Kayaks. RZC is passionate about investing in marquee outdoor brands, and we’re thrilled to be working with another fast-growing premium outdoor manufacturer like Eddyline,” said RZC Vice President, Don Huffner. “Paddlesport participation is growing as consumers look for healthy ways to access outdoor recreation, and Eddyline is uniquely positioned in the market to service that need well into the future.”
Eddyline President Scott Holley says the Arkansas distribution center will help the brand get its kayaks to dealers and customers more efficiently. Eddyline currently sells to approximately 100 dealers at 150 store locations across the United States and Canada. Despite the Walmart connection, Holley confirmed that the kayak brand’s products will not be available in the superstore.
Although RZC Investments will support Eddyline’s growth, including plans for a new facility in Arkansas, the 50-year-old kayak brand will retain control of its board, with three-fifths of directors consisting of long-term Eddyline management. RZC Vice President Don Huffner will join the Eddyline Board along with longterm managers Todd Keane, Janet Sutton and President Scott Holley.