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Owner Says: Dutch Gazelle Not for Sale

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UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Rumours are mounting in The Netherlands on whether its leading bike maker Gazelle is for sale or not. Contributing to the rumours is not only the recent sudden change in the top management of the company which resulted in a new CEO, Bert Piest (photo). Also the worldwide credit crises that had a huge impact on one of the Gazelle shareholders

Owner Says: Dutch Gazelle Not for Sale

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Rumours are mounting in The Netherlands on whether its leading bike maker Gazelle is for sale or not. Contributing to the rumours is not only the recent sudden change in the top management of the company which resulted in a new CEO, Bert Piëst (photo). Also the worldwide credit crises that had a huge impact on one of the Gazelle shareholders has been feeding the discussions on the company.

Gilde Buy-Out Fund II (part of the Dutch Rabobank) acquired ‘Koninklijke Gazelle’ from Derby Cycle Corporation in July 2001 for € 142.5 million and syndicated part of its investment to Citigroup. This US based bank has been hit extremely hard by the credit crises and is now cleaning its balance sheet from bad loans. Financial experts say that Gazelle could be part of that operation.

New Gazelle CEO denied the sale

What also contributed to the rumours was a recent cost saving operation (including redundancies) that was started just after the new CEO Bert Piëst took control of the company. However, in an interview with the Dutch dealer magazine Tweewieler (belonging to the same publisher as Bike Europe), the new Gazelle CEO denied everything on the sale of Gazelle. It didn’t stop the talking which even named some so-called interested parties.

Last week Gilde Buy-Out Fund II, the biggest shareholder and owner of Gazelle, got involved in the ongoing discussion. It clearly stated that Gazelle is not for sale. The private equity part of the Rabobank officially stated: “We currently see ample possibilities for further and continued growth at Gazelle. As Gilde we support the ambitions the management of the company holds and that means that we will continue to be a Gazelle shareholder.”

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