A consortium led by buyout firm and Teslin Alpine Acquisition has agreed to a takeover of Accell Group that values the maker of bike brands, including Raleigh, Haibike, Ghost, Koga, Sparta, and Batavus at Є1.56 billion ($1.77 billion).
The cash offer of Є58 per share represents a premium of 26 percent over Accell Group’s closing price on January 21 and a premium of 42 percent over its three-month volume-weighted average price.
Accell Group’s Board of Management, which includes CEO Ton Anbeek, CFO Ruben Baldew, and, per February 1, 2022, CSCO Francesca Gamboni, will continue to lead the Group, with its board unanimously agreeing to accept the offer.
Accell Group’s largest shareholders, Teslin and Hoogh Blarick support the transaction. They hold 10.8 percent and 7.5 percent of shares, respectively.
Anbeek said in a statement, “Today’s announcement marks an important step for Accell Group. With the Consortium as our new shareholder, we will have a financially strong and knowledgeable partner to accelerate the roll-out of our existing strategic roadmap, enhance our global footprint, explore suitable acquisitions, and further leverage our scale. The Transaction will enable us to leap forward as a group, bringing along enhanced career opportunities for our employees. We continuously strive to be a leader in the bicycle industry by combining smart design and innovative technology with the best value and customer experience. With KKR coming on board as majority shareholder, and with the continued support of Teslin, we would be able to accelerate the execution of our strategic agenda, launch new innovations for green mobility and support to the benefit of people and communities.”
The Consortium intends to take the company private, with the new owners stating this will “enable Accell Group to accelerate the execution of its strategy in the coming years through further investment in long-term strategic growth initiatives, while also mitigating challenges brought about from supply chain volatility and rising inflation.”
Focus areas will include innovation and brand development, supply chain management and distribution capabilities, international expansion, acquisitions, and continued ESG integration.
KKR also intends to tap the experience and support of long-term Accell Group shareholder Teslin.
Rob ter Haar, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Accell Group, said, “The Supervisory Board unanimously supports the transaction and recommends the offer by the Consortium, which we believe will promote the sustainable success of Accell Group. The offer reflects a compelling and immediate value for our shareholders. Having the Consortium as a strong shareholder focused on long-term value enhancement will enable Accell Group to grow its business in an accelerated timeframe and to strengthen its position as one of the world’s leading bicycle market players, against the backdrop of continued supply chain volatility and a dynamic global environment full of challenges and opportunities.”
KKR’s investment track record has primarily focused on the consumer sector and includes mobility investments including Trainline, Lyft, Gojek, Zwift, Boots, and Wella.
Daan Knottenbelt, partner and head of Benelux at KKR, said, “With Accell Group, the Consortium is committed to further developing the Netherlands as the global capital of cycling by building on the company’s leading position in the European e-bike market and continuing to grow its strong heritage brands. This investment in Accell Group would build on KKR’s significant experience of investing in the Netherlands. KKR has the capabilities to support high-quality Dutch businesses to accelerate their domestic and global growth ambitions and to overcome challenges such as those Accell group faces in the competitive global bike market.”
Tim Franks, partner and head of EMEA consumer at KKR, said, “Accell Group’s transport and mobility solutions have been a thematic investment focus for KKR for some time, and we believe that the bicycle sector and e-bikes, in particular, will play an increasingly important role in dealing with some of the major challenges the world is facing today, whether it concerns climate change, urban mobility and connected transport or personal health. The operating environment for biking is increasingly demanding and complex from a consumer experience, supply chain and digital capability perspective. As a global investor, we will deploy our resources to support Accell Group in realizing its full potential as a global industry leader and sustainable innovator.”
Previously, mobility rival PON held a 20 percent stake in Accell, which it sold in December of 2020, proceeds of which appear to have been channeled into its acquisition of Dorel Sports recently.
Photo courtesy Raleigh Bikes