Canyon Bicycles acquired by Belgium investor

KONSTANZ, Germany - D2C-supplier Canyon Bicycles found a new majority shareholder in Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). Roman Arnold will remain the Chairman of the Advisory Board and reinvest a significant part of his proceeds alongside GBL, while significant minority shareholder TSG Consumer Partners will fully exit its stake.
Beginning as a bike shop in Koblenz, Germany, Canyon has turned into a multimillion webshop. – Photo Canyon

It is time for a change at Canyon stated company founder and owner Roman Arnold as this trade journal reported last September. “The moment is there for us to set the future course for further growth, including changes to top management and enticing new investment partners,” Roman Arnold said at the presentation of the financial results over 2019/2020 (September end). He then reported a record sales turnover of €400 million, an increase of 30%. Over the past seven years, Canyon’s sales have grown at an average rate of 25% per annum, almost doubling in the last three years alone.

“Groupe Bruxelles Lambert’s passion for our business, their extensive experience and their long-term orientation impressed me and my team,” said Roman Arnold in response to the announcement of the take-over.

According to German media reports four more financial investors, including KKR and Carlyle, tried to take-over Canyon. It is said that Canyon’s valuation, including debts, is said to have risen to up to € 800 million. On top of that, the bicycle boom in the corona crisis fueled the bidding competition, and online direct sales sparked further imagination.

Strategic priorities for Canyon’s new owner

Canyon is regarded to be one of the largest direct-to-consumer players worldwide, operating its own e-commerce website, hence providing a unique channel advantage. “We consider Canyon at the crossroad of multiple structural trends in line with our strategic priorities, including health and wellness, sustainable mobility and online distribution,” stated GBL CEO Ian Gallienne in today’s statement.

We see many growth levers in the coming years for Canyon

“We see many growth levers in the coming years for Canyon, including further growth in Europe and the US, as well as in the fast-growing e-bike market,” said Ian Gallienne. “Product and customer service will be fundamental drivers of the plan. Canyon has an experienced team in place, led by CEO Armin Landgraf, to further expand its position as one of the world’s leading bicycle companies.”

This transaction is aligned with GBL’s strategy developed by Ian Gallienne and his team: invest in structurally growing industries aligned with sustainability and partnering with founders and management teams.

More co-investors

As part of the transaction, Tony Fadell will also co-invest alongside GBL and be a member of the Advisory Board. Tony was the SVP of Apple’s iPod Division and led the teams that created the iPod and the iPhone. He founded Nest Labs in 2010 which he ultimately sold to Google. Tony now runs Future Shape, a global advisory and investment firm coaching engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs working on foundational deep technology, with the goal to bring technology out of the lab and into our lives. “Tony’s product expertise, alongside his team at Future Shape, will provide a great support to Canyon’s management team to further accelerate growth in the coming years,” GBL stated in today’s press release.

The transaction is expected to be completed, once the necessary regulatory authorisations are received, during the course of Q1 2021.