Associates since 1983, Jérôme Marsac and Vincent Bouvet developed their business in the French scale model market before launching AIR SOFT GUNS® in 1993. These are perfectly safe pistol replicas reserved for adults, firing 6mm plastic pellets. AIR SOFT GUNS® faithfully reproduce real firearms and so the two entrepreneurs had a great idea. Why not obtain licenses from the top firearms manufacturers? Smith & Wesson® signed the first contract in 1997, followed by COLT®, SIG SAUER®, DESERT EAGLE™ and many others. Today, the portfolio contains over twenty world-exclusive licenses, ensuring the company's position as a global leader. Also a creator, in 1998 the Group patented a world-first: Clear guns (transparent replicas).
At the occasion of their initial public offering in 1999, the Group changed its name from Les 3 Pylônes to CYBERGUN, and virtually flooded the American market, which, by March 2003, represented 24.1% of gross sales. During roughly the same period, the Group won news markets in Eastern Europe, signed licensing deals with Japan and invested massively in R&D. In 2003, they filed two revolutionary patents: BAX and CYCLONE.
The 2004 financial year saw the expansion of the US market with the opening of SOFTAIR DEPOT® stores and the takeover of San Francisco wholesaler SOFTAIR USA, which became a fully-owned subsidiary of CYBERGUN, and which is now chaired by Mr John Steele, formerly S&W, recruited in September 2003.
In 2005 and 2006 the Group pursued its growth It reaffirmed its position as a market leader, a defender of intellectual property rights, and an innovator (100% biodegradable BBs). By 31 March 2007, sales reach EUR 36.3M, 79% of which is in the USA, with over 7,000 sales points of sale there.
In 2007, after heavy investments in people and marketing, CYBERGUN pursued its growth with the acquisition in January 2007 of PALCO Marketing, a Minneapolis-based wholesaler, who supplies 1,300 retailers in the USA and Canada. PALCO Marketing is today chaired by Mark Skrocki, a paintball executive recruited from JT SPORTS. On 1 April 2008, CYBERGUN also acquired TECH GROUP, specialized in paintball for children and present on five 5 continents.
In 2008, despite the global economy, the Group maintained its regular growth and closed on 31 March 2009 with gross sales of EUR 42.7M, with 64% in the USA. CYBERGUN pursued its policy of outside growth with the acquisition, announced on 16 March 2009, of Danish company X GUNS, which is integrated on 1 April of that year. X GUNS's executive committee is strengthened; Olivier Gualdoni, a twelve-year veteran of the CYBERGUN Group, became CEO of the new subsidiary and Ghislain d'Argenlieu, formerly of Rémy Cointreau, was recruited as International Finance Director.
The 2009 financial year (closed on 31 March 2010) confirmed CYBERGUN's strong growth curve, nearly 20% per year since the Group's 1999 IPO. For the first time, gross sales cleared EUR50M.
2010 is a year of organic growth and of strategic acquisitions. In January, CYBERGUN signed a long-term partnership agreement with JT SPORTS, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, a key player in the paintball market for over twenty years. In May, the Group acquired Taiwanese company INOKATSU, leading manufacturer of premium airsoft products. Other operations are to be announced in coming weeks.
Cybergun is a low-mid-range manufacturer primarily of AEGs. Their AEGs are not generally very high-performance, although typically they are Marui compatible and on a whole, quite reliable.