Rapala and Shimano, the leading manufacturers of fishing rods and reels, have agreed to merge their existing U.K. distribution activities into an equal joint venture, Shimano Normark UK. This joint venture will enter into a distribution agreement with Rapala and its subsidiary, Dynamite Baits, regarding Rapala's current product offering in the U.K. Production of Dynamite-branded bait will remain fully in Rapala's control, but the distribution activities of Shimano UK and Dynamite Baits UK will be merged. The joint venture will sell Shimano reels and rods, G. Loomis rods, Power Pro fishing line and other Shimano fishing tackle products. It will also sell Rapala, Dynamite Baits, Sufix, Storm and other Rapala fishing tackle products, all on an exclusive basis. The two companies already have joint venture distribution agreements and other forms of partnership in many other European countries.