HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands (29 October) - Accell Group NV has taken over the German Winora Group from Derby Holding Germany GmbH. The acquisition strengthens Accell Group's position on the number one bicycle market in Europe. The Winora Group sells about 120,000 bicycles per year under the Winora and Staiger brands. The annual turnover of the Schweinfurt based company with 125 employees totals around € 45 million.
According to Accell Group CEO René Takens, the Winora take over is the result of negotiations with Derby Cycle Corporation, which started after their Chapter 11 filing in August. At that time Trek USA and Accell Group showed a joint interest in Derby and especially in certain parts of the global operating bike maker. Discussions with Derby (recently renamed Raleigh Cycle Ltd.) Executive Chairman Alan Finden-Crofts have now resulted in the take over of the winora Group by Accell.
With Winora, the Accell Group acquires two prominent German bicycle brands, Winora and Staiger. Accell will continue to operate these brands. With Hercules, the Dutch bike maker group already has a strong national brand for Germany. René Takens, "The three brands complement each other within the German market. With Hercules we cooperate with the retail organisation ZEG while Winora cooperates with the other important buying association for IBD's in Germany, BICO. Next to that, the Winora Group holds a strong position within the market of IBD's which are not members of the buying associations."
The 120,000 bicycles that are annually sold by the Winora Group will for the time being continue to be produced at the Derby facilities in Cloppenburg and Rostock. Accell plans to move the production in 2003 to its production facilities in The Netherlands and/or Hungary where it is now building a new factory in cooperation with its joint venture partner Schwinn Csepel. Despite this move, the Winora Group will continue to be based in Schweinfurt where the successful P&A business of the company is located. Winora's sales in parts and accessories account for about one third of the companies' total turnover.
Accell Group CEO René Takens commented further about this takeover, "It doesn't takes place during the most favourable market conditions. On the other hand, under normal market conditions, we never could have afforded to add this new pearl in the Accell crown."
Accell Group NV is the third largest bicycle group in Europe, operates subsidiary companies in The Netherlands, Germany and France and realized a turnover of € 203.7 million in 2000. The Winora Group will make an immediate contribution in 2002 to Accell's earnings per share.
In a Raleigh Cycle Ltd press release, Alan Finden-Crofts confirmed this morning that Winora-Staiger and its P&A business has been sold to the Accell Group. Next to that Raleigh Cycle Ltd announces that Derby South Africa will be sold to the local management. (JO)