In what could be one of the biggest mergers ever seen in the bike industry, Pon Holdings (owners of Santa Cruz, Focus & Cervelo) has just announced a proposed takeover of The Accell Group. For those unaware, The Accell Group is a Dutch conglomerate that includes well-known bicycle brands including Lapierre, Haibike, Ghost, Raleigh, Redline & Diamondback.
Here’s a snippet from the public statement from the Accell Group issued this morning: “In anticipation of market rumours, Accell Group announces that it has received a non-binding, conditional proposal from Pon Holdings to combine Accell Group with its own bicycle activities”. The value of the proposed takeover? A cool €845 million.
This is an eerily familiar story for several of the brands involved in this potential merger. Santa Cruz fans may recall that the brand was already bought out by Pon Holdings in 2015, where it was absorbed into the same pool that includes Derby Cycle (Focus, Cervelo & Kalkoff), and Lapierre itself was also absorbed by the Accell Group (as Hannah discussed during her interview with Lapierre owner, Gilles Lapierre).
While only preliminary talks are happening at this point, the potential for such a huge merger presents some interesting questions. What could the future be for bike brands such as Santa Cruz and Lapierre? We will just have to wait and see…
In the meantime, here’s the remainder of the statement from the Accell Group:
“The proposal concerns a public offer for all issued and outstanding shares of Accell Group at an indicative offer price of € 32.72 per share in cash, including the 2016 proposed dividend of € 0.72. In response to the proposal Accell Group is having exploratory discussions with Pon Holdings. The Supervisory Board and Executive Board of Accell Group are carefully reviewing and considering all aspects of the proposal, together with their financial and legal advisors. Accell Group will take into account the interests of all its stakeholders. There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions. Further announcements will be made if and when appropriate.”
About Pon Holdings:
Pon is an international trading and service organization with a workforce of 13,000 people spread over 450 locations in 32 countries. Every day, we’re committed to delivering top quality. Adding unique value to the relationship between customer and manufacturer: that’s what Pon is about. We do that by providing a range of services for the quality products of A-brand manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Caterpillar, MAN, Gazelle and Continental. Those services include maintenance, repair, leasing, rental and insurance.
About Accell Group:
Accell Group and its subsidiaries employ approximately 3,000 people in eighteen countries worldwide. The company has production facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Hungary, Turkey and China. Accell Group products are sold in more than seventy countries. The company’s head office is located in Heerenveen (the Netherlands). Accell Group shares are traded on the official market of Euronext Amsterdam and are included in the Amsterdam Small Cap index (AScX). In 2016, Accell Group sold around 1.5 million bicycles and recorded profitable turnover of over € 1 billion.