Horizon Hobby Acquires Pro-Line!

Horizon Hobby is excited to announce the acquisition of Pro-Line Racing, the leading innovator in the RC performance and customization accessory market.

Splash

Pro-Line in the Horizon Hobby Family

Champaign, Illinois

“Pro-Line Racing is one of the strongest RC brands in the world, with over 38 years of providing innovative products,” Chris Dickerson, Horizon’s President, said. “Horizon has a longstanding partnership with Pro-Line. Throughout our relationship, we’ve always admired Pro-Line’s commitment to expanding the customer experience through innovative product design.” Dickerson continued, “Beyond the product, we’ve always admired the Pro-Line team’s passion and feel they share the same values as Horizon. We are very confident this will be a strong cultural fit.”

Todd Mattson, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Pro-Line, said, “For over 38 years, Pro-Line Racing has created unforgettable memories for the everyday backyard hero and won 12 IFMAR World Championship titles. We are proud to have built a strong brand with Pro-Line that is known for innovation and quality. Our partnership with Horizon creates significant opportunity for us to take Pro-Line to the next level by leveraging Horizon’s resources, such as global marketing and distribution channels.”

Dickerson added, “Horizon strives to provide the best brands in RC to its customers. By bringing Pro-Line into our family of proprietary brands, we take an important step forward in continuing on that commitment. We feel that by aligning our development and marketing resources, we’ll find new ways to innovate and create exceptional customer experiences. Further, Pro-Line manufactures in the United States and will help Horizon expand our manufacturing experience.”

Pro-Line will continue to operate at their facility in Banning, CA. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pro-Line Racing was founded in 1982 and is a passionate team of American innovators bonded by vision and determination. They are a US manufacturer and 12-Time World Champion, with the goal to always satisfy their RC customers through cutting edge and high-performance accessory products for a wide variety of classes and scales of RC surface vehicles. Pro-Line is based in Banning, California.

Horizon info link.

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Aug 10, 2020, 03:06 PM
Registered User
Thickfog's Avatar
Yeah. Bye bye any US Proline manufacturing. Horizon is bottom line profits first. Anyone that's been on any management team for any US based corporation will know what happens in the next two years. They'll simply take Proline's intellectual property and move all manufacturing to China and Taiwan.

Another great one gone. Another nail in our coffin.

Sent from my motorola one hyper using Tapatalk
Aug 10, 2020, 08:44 PM
No class, no smarts, and ugly
Well, you can count on Pro-Line being added to the endless list of out of stock products. Don't worry though, they will eventually come back once Horizon gets them made out of foam at 3x the price.
Aug 11, 2020, 03:47 AM
Registered User
JPJI's Avatar
That's the last thing this nobby needs.
Aug 11, 2020, 01:10 PM
FL, Sanford
Wrecking Ball's Avatar
f

Aug 11, 2020, 01:10 PM
No school like the old school
While not what I'd like to see, I'd rather them be absorbed by someone like Horizon than disappear completely.
Aug 13, 2020, 02:40 AM
SF Valley RC Flyers
Killionaire's Avatar
Let's boycott Horizon Hobby then. I feel like I'm in a post-apocalyptic period where HH destroyed everything.
Can't buy brand new Top Flite kits since HH bought Hobbico.
Aug 14, 2020, 10:54 PM
Registered User
If Horizon buys an existing RC company, it likely means that the company was unprofitable and going under due to long-term poor management. If things were profitable and growing the company wouldn't have sold out to Horizon.

Blaming Horizon for some small RC company's financial failure is like blaming the doctor forced to amputate a limb to save the life of someone who ate themselves to 700 pounds of weight over ten years of serially self-destructive behavior. Of course it's tragic and, obviously, to survive going forward all that pre-existing destructive behavior must change but it's a last desperate attempt to save the company and give it one more chance under different leadership.

Often, such acquisitions are only a few weeks or months ahead of an inevitable bankruptcy filing. So it's either company goes under and everyone loses their jobs - and founders (probably) lose their life-savings (and, often, homes) OR Horizon steps in because, after reviewing the finances and products they think that *some* of the products might actually be viable if operated competently. At least with Horizon, *some* of the employees keep their jobs and the customers and founders at least have a chance that things might work out better than "game over".

If Horizon cost-reduces a pre-existing product (or raises its price) that means it was unprofitable but close enough to possibly survive and be viable after necessary changes. If Horizon discontinues a pre-existing product that means they can't see any way to save it (and the original company shouldn't have made it in the first place). I highly doubt that Horizon (or any sane business owner) ever discontinues a profitable growing product. Horizon can only be successful if their improved management puts products on the market that customers value enough to buy. If Horizon has misjudged or they fail to execute their plan, everyone still loses their jobs, customers still lose access to all the products and now Horizon loses all the money, time and effort they put into it.

Bottom line: Horizon risking it's money is giving you customers and the employees one last chance to not lose it all. Frankly, as a business person experienced in these kinds of transactions, I'm surprised Horizon even has the investor support to do this kind of acquisition at all in a business as volatile and lousy as RC. But it's not my money at risk (or yours), yet we all *might* still get something positive from it.
Last edited by Markran; Aug 14, 2020 at 11:39 PM.
Aug 19, 2020, 11:48 AM
Registered User
Horizon Hobby has gone to the Dogs!, Take a look at their Blade brand of heli’s and the Quads are long gone!....
Aug 24, 2020, 09:47 AM
Registered User
I'm sad to see this, though it's not surprising.

Whether ProLine was having financial difficulties they couldn't overcome (my gut feeling, particularly this year) or they just wanted to sell out (less likely), it's sad to see them die. Because either way, with this acquisition the ProLine we know is dead.
Aug 30, 2020, 03:16 PM
RIP PRo line
Look what they did to Tower.
Is Horizon anti RC? they sure act like it.
Sep 01, 2020, 02:23 PM
Registered User
JPJI's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtech
Look what they did to Tower.
Is Horizon anti RC? they sure act like it.
They have certainly lost all respect for their customers, profit now comes before customers.
Sep 13, 2020, 09:20 AM
RIP PRo line
They deleted your wish lists, the order history.They have nothing in stock, they don't send notifications of in stock like I signed up for.

All the things that made Tower great are gone.
Oct 06, 2020, 09:20 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by vortechz230
Horizon Hobby has gone to the Dogs!, Take a look at their Blade brand of heli’s and the Quads are long gone!....
My Shih Tzu resents that comparison.

He knows he is a heck of a lot better than HH
Oct 07, 2020, 01:26 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markran
If Horizon buys an existing RC company, it likely means that the company was unprofitable and going under due to long-term poor management. If things were profitable and growing the company wouldn't have sold out to Horizon.

Blaming Horizon for some small RC company's financial failure is like blaming the doctor forced to amputate a limb to save the life of someone who ate themselves to 700 pounds of weight over ten years of serially self-destructive behavior. Of course it's tragic and, obviously, to survive going forward all that pre-existing destructive behavior must change but it's a last desperate attempt to save the company and give it one more chance under different leadership.

Often, such acquisitions are only a few weeks or months ahead of an inevitable bankruptcy filing. So it's either company goes under and everyone loses their jobs - and founders (probably) lose their life-savings (and, often, homes) OR Horizon steps in because, after reviewing the finances and products they think that *some* of the products might actually be viable if operated competently. At least with Horizon, *some* of the employees keep their jobs and the customers and founders at least have a chance that things might work out better than "game over".

If Horizon cost-reduces a pre-existing product (or raises its price) that means it was unprofitable but close enough to possibly survive and be viable after necessary changes. If Horizon discontinues a pre-existing product that means they can't see any way to save it (and the original company shouldn't have made it in the first place). I highly doubt that Horizon (or any sane business owner) ever discontinues a profitable growing product. Horizon can only be successful if their improved management puts products on the market that customers value enough to buy. If Horizon has misjudged or they fail to execute their plan, everyone still loses their jobs, customers still lose access to all the products and now Horizon loses all the money, time and effort they put into it.

Bottom line: Horizon risking it's money is giving you customers and the employees one last chance to not lose it all. Frankly, as a business person experienced in these kinds of transactions, I'm surprised Horizon even has the investor support to do this kind of acquisition at all in a business as volatile and lousy as RC. But it's not my money at risk (or yours), yet we all *might* still get something positive from it.
That is all totally simplistic. You may as well try to justify the rise and dominance of robber barons in the gilded age, or the vast chasm in wealth distribution in the US today. It's no good, unless you're one of the very, very few billionaires.. Sure, these things have ups and downs, but that does not mean it is good for the hobby or customers. Horizon has become progressively more awful over the last several years, with prices going through the roof, and quality going down..(I have had two nearly brand new stock E-flite planes crash at 100mph with melted ESCs, within the span of one year.. That kind of thing doesn't even happen with some cheapo foamie from Banggood...) There is no way that is good for anybody but the scumbag investors looking to squeeze out every penny they can get from the company.

And please... It's not like every takeover is by some healthy, altruistic bigger company of some on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy poorly run little company. There is more at play than that. The big corporate entity here just uses muscle to force out its smaller competitors, and in the end there is LESS competition, and a pure capitalist like yourself(apparently..) should realize that less competition is a bad thing. Instead of a lot of medium size fish in the water, you now have like one big shark, who has eaten all the smaller fish through brute force. The way of the world, I assume you'll say... Perhaps, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing if you live in the same water.

Your argument reminds me of what Votaire's Candide satirizes - the simplistic notion that "all is for the best"... There is nothing good for RC customers by having Horizon gobble up all the smaller players, then reduce the diversity of what's available, and jack up prices. So, higher prices for us the customers, and less choice. Yeah, it happens, and yeah, there are market forces at play which are difficult to keep in check. But don't go saying what Horizon is doing is good for the hobby. That's nonsense.


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