Malaysia-based firm Innovacia Sdn Bhd has acquired the Dutch sports hijab pioneer Capsters BV.
Innovacia was previously a Capsters reseller in Malaysia and now takes over the whole global business, it said in a statement on Nov 18.
The company did not respond to Salaam Gateway’s enquiry about the value of the acquisition.
Capsters BV will cease to be involved in the running of the business but co-founders Cindy van den Bremen and Karin Mastenbroek will “always be close to the Capsters family”, Capsters Director Fazlin Ismail told Salaam Gateway on Wednesday (Nov 20).
The new owners are planning a wider product range.
“Being a technology company, Innovacia also wishes to introduce wearable tech in the Capsters range,” said Fazlin.
The nature of Innovacia's business is listed as “project management and consultant, ICT solution, and training” by the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
“We will also introduce more designs and supplementary products in addition to the current range,” Fazlin said.
The brand is currently sold through resellers in 16 countries, according to Innovacia.
The Capsters Eindhoven headquarters is currently being shifted to its new base in Malaysia.
Capsters is widely regarded as the pioneer of the sports hijab.
Cindy van den Bremen designed her first sports hijab in 1999 after a Dutch Muslim girl was expelled from gym class for wearing the head covering, a case that went to court.
Cindy and Capsters helped lift the hijab ban on the football field in 2012 by convincing the sport’s governing body with a safe design. The International Football Association Board’s prohibition of 2007 considered the hijab unsafe for athletes.
This paved the way for the lifting of the ban in other sports, including basketball in 2017.
This is not the first time a Malaysian company has acquired a European modest fashion business. In 2018, Aidijuma Colors Group acquired a majority stake in UK’s Haute Elan.
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*This story was corrected on Nov 20 to reflect the comments as from Fazlin Ismail and not Shahrul Shaari, and to update the number of resellers from 14 to 16