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Bell Europe acquires Bell North America UPDATE Added photo of Martine Kindt Cohen - CEO Bell Racing Europe and CEO Bell Racing USA below.

08/17/10 Bell Racing Europe SA has reached an agreement with Bell Sports, Inc., a division of Easton Bell Sports, Inc. to extend Bell Europe’s exclusive license to manufacture, distribute and market auto racing helmets and accessories under the Bell Helmets trademark to the territories of North and South America. Easton Bell Sports will maintain operational responsibility for Bell Racing Company until September 30, 2010, at which time; Bell Racing Europe will assume marketing and distribution responsibility for auto racing helmets and related accessory products sold under the Bell brand in these territories. “Bell Racing Europe has been an outstanding partner in executing our European strategies and we feel this extended partnership will allow synergies that benefit both organizations while strengthening the Bell brand across multiple countries,” said Steve Bigelow, EVP & GM, Bell Sports, Inc. “The decision to expand our relationship with Bell Racing Europe is based on their experience in working with the FIA and our collaborative efforts to develop a new line of auto racing helmets for Bell Racing Company.”

Bell Racing Europe’s new organization, serving the North and South American markets, will operate under the name Bell Racing USA and will be based in the United States in Champaign-Urbana Illinois. Kyle Kietzmann, current General Manager of Bell Racing Company will join the new organization as President of Bell Racing USA and will be responsible for managing all aspects of the U.S. based operation including sales, marketing, product development, distribution and sponsorship. “Consolidating the Bell Racing Europe and Bell Racing USA operations under common ownership will create a worldwide organization with the mission of developing innovative, technologically superior auto racing helmets that maximize protection and improve driver performance,” said Kyle Kietzmann, President, Bell Racing USA.

Martine Kindt Cohen - CEO Bell Racing Europe and CEO Bell Racing USA
“We are passionate about the sport of auto racing and committed to enhancing Bell Racing’s position as the number one car racing helmet manufacturer in the world.” “We view this as a very positive move” said Martine Kindt-Cohen, CEO Bell Racing Europe and CEO Bell Racing USA. “We’ve been working with Bell since 1985, but the fundamental change happened when we acquired the European and Asian license in 2001. Bell Racing’s work with the FIA on the 8860 Advanced Helmets and on the children’s helmets has given Bell a serious technological advantage which will be implemented in the new Bell Racing USA product line. We are also very happy to have Kyle Kietzmann as co-owner and President of the new operation; Kyle has been with Bell Auto Racing for so many years, and his experience and motivation are invaluable.”

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