VILLENEUVE D`ASCQ, France – Rumours were already going round at Eurobike last September. Now it’s officially confirmed: French holding Oxylane – among others parent company of the sporting goods giant Décathlon – acquired a 25% stake into German high-end bike supplier Storck Bicycle GmbH. A share majority of investor Oxylane is in the hands of Association Familiale Mulliez (AFM in short), one of the richest families in France.
Thanks to a yearly sales growth between 20% and 25% over the last few years Storck Bicycle was seriously searching for new investors. The acquisition of a 25% stake by Oxylane led also to a complete change of ownership. The previous private shareholder group out of Stuttgart and Storck’s friend Jacobus Bartels are out. In return Markus and Helena Storck increased their stake in the company from 62.4% to 75%. The remaining 25% stake is now in the hands of Oxylane. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Markus Storck the change of ownership has no impact on the day-to-day business, “Storck Bicycle will continue as an independent company. Our store concept will expand worldwide with dealers and distribution partners. Moreover we expanded our management team.”
With Jens Buder there is for example a new Head of R&D and with Fritz Fehner a new sourcing manager. All in all Storck Bicycle staff doubled since the company moved into it’s new headquarter in Idstein near Frankfurt in May 2009.
It is said that there are no synergies between Décathlon – with its private bicycle brand B`Twin and Storck Bicycle in the pipeline. Décathlon is currently operating its own modern assembly (including painting) facility, located close to the company headquarter in Villeneuve d`Ascq near Lille. Currently Oxylane sees its stake in Storck Bicycle just as an attractive investment. While Décathlon serves the mass market, Storck targets the high-end market.