GRENCHEN, Switzerland - The handshake between Andy Rihs (right on photo) and Thomas Binggeli marks the entry of ISH International Sport Holding AG into the e-bike market. Andy Rihs brings the ‘BMC’ (winning team in the 2011 Tour de France) and ‘Bergamont’ brands, Thomas Binggeli the in Switzerland successful e-bike ‘Stromer’ under the roof of the ISH (International Sport Holding).
BMC is one of the remaining international operating brands that didn’t had an offering in the rapidly developing e-bike segment. The Stromer take-over provides a start with a model that since its launch three years ago has proven itself.
The Stromer take-over is handled by Andy Rihs in a special way. Rather than remit a big sum of money Binggeli gets a 30% share in the ISH International Sport Holding AG. Rihs remains with a 70% share the majority owner. Next to that Rihs appointed Binggeli in charge of his operative management. It looks like that with this action the 69-year old Rihs is also positioning Binggeli as his future successor.
Thomas Binggeli replaces Mike Hürlimann, who managed the ISH Group over the past three years and turned it into a globally active enterprise. Andy Rihs remains the Chairman of the ISH Board of Directors.
The Stromer has been developed completely in Switzerland and already won several awards. It will be sold to specialist dealers around the world through the ISH Group's sales network together with BMC and Bergamont.
Thomas Binggeli on his new job at the ISH Group: "This is a fantastic step forward for me! We now have a great chance of developing into an important Swiss bicycle manufacturer over the coming years. We are convinced that all of the ISH brands will profit from the synergies in the fields of research & development, purchasing, production, sales and administration.”
The new ISH Group currently has around 250 employees in Grenchen, Thörishaus and Hamburg. The holding company has an annual turnover of around CHF 125 million (€ 101 mn).