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Pon Wants to Takeover Accell Group; Places Bid for Shares

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HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – Pon Holdings, owner of Pon Bike Group, has placed a bid for all shares of Accell Group. This bid comes after Pon Holdings provided the management board and the supervisory board of Accell Group with a letter detailing its proposal on 17 March 2017. That the two companies entered into talks was leaked to the Dutch press. A newspaper publication yesterday on it surprised the two companies and prompted the now published bid by Pon Holdings on Accell Group.

Pon Wants to Takeover Accell Group; Places Bid for Shares
Accell and Pon merger ‘results in the world’s leading global bicycle company, with headquarters in the Netherlands and with sufficient scale to be the long term winner in the industry.’

On this bid Pon Holdings says in this morning’s issued statement “Pon Holdings confirms that it has provided a non-binding, conditional proposal to Accell Group to combine Accell Group with its own bicycle activities. The proposal concerns a public offer for all issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Accell Group at an indicative offer price of € 32.72 per share in cash, including the 2016 proposed dividend of € 0.72.”

‘Exploratory discussions’

The at the Amsterdam stock market listed Accell Group confirms that it has received the bid from Pon Holdings and said “In response to the proposal Accell Group is having exploratory discussions with Pon Holdings. The Supervisory Board and Executive Board of Accell Group are carefully reviewing and considering all aspects of the proposal, together with their financial and legal advisors. Accell Group will take into account the interests of all its stakeholders. There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions.”

‘Excellent strategic fit’

According to Pon Holdings “There is an excellent strategic fit between the bike activities of both companies with benefits for all stakeholders. The combination results in the world’s leading global bicycle company, with headquarters in the Netherlands and with sufficient scale to be the long term winner in the industry.”

Competition authorities

Next to the world’s leading global bicycle company the combination of Accell Group and Pon Holdings will result in a company that has an over 30% share in major bike markets like Germany and the Netherlands. This undoubtedly will raise concerns at competition authorities in the two named countries as well as in Brussels. René Takens, CEO of Accell Group, answered on questions on this aspect of the possible merger of the two companies “This is what we are investigating now.”

Also at Pon this is being investigated as “When it comes to a takeover all currently existing brands will continue to operate as they do now. Competition considerations is also an element of the takeover process. That we cannot answer questions on this now has to do with the fact that publications in the press on our discussions with Accell Group surprised us and forced us to make an announcement,” was said by a Pon Holdings spokesperson.

The combination Pon Bike Group and Accell Group will bring about a company that has a long list of brands varying from Gazelle to Batavus, Sparta and Koga (the biggest in Holland) as well as Kalkhoff, Focus, Univega and Haibike (the biggest in Germany). Next to that the Pon – Accell combination markets also international brands like Raleigh, Diamondback and Cervelo.

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