“Susanne and Felix Puello are not directly involved in the negotiations with MIFA as all discussions are handled by the family,” German newspaper ‘Mitteldeutsche Zeitung’ reports. MIFA’s brand new production location in Sangerhausen, which was opened last December, is to be turned into a so-called ‘experience factory’ where customers can follow the production of their bikes. Both the high-end e-bike brand Grace as well as Steppenwolf, owned by MIFA, would fit in this new ‘experience factory’ concept.
Susanne Puello in the bicycle industry
Both Susanne and her husband Felix Puello are long time industry insiders. They founded the Haibike brand in 1996. As great-granddaughter of the founder she took over the management of Winora bicycle factory in 1997. In the same year the Winora Group was acquired by the Derby Cycle Corporation. Four years later, in 2001 the Winora Group became part of the Accell Group and started to expand. In 2001 the Winora Group’s turnover stood at 45 million euro with 120,000 bicycles sold. In 2016 the big majority of Accell Group’s 266 million euro turnover made in Germany was generated by the Winora Group, next to Ghost and Bäumker Batavus. Last March Susanne Puello unexpectedly announced to step down as managing director of the Winora Group and to leave the Accell Group subsidiary.
17 million euro for the new facility
The current MIFA owner, Heinrich von Nathusius, confirms that talks are taking place on the sale of the new factory. He is involved in the takeover discussions as the Nathusius family (and not MIFA) still owns the facility. Previously Heinrich von Nathusius indicated that he was willing to sell the new production site when the 17 million euro construction costs are paid.
Deutsche Post is interested in becoming a MIFA partner as the company assembles the postmen’s e-bikes. Indian Hero who was already named shortly after the new of the insolvency became public, is no longer involved in the takeover discussions.