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Trek Talks to Villiger about Take Over

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BUTTISHOLZ, Switzerland (October 28) – Trek is currently negotiating with the bicycle division of Swiss Villiger Soehne AG about a possible take over. Villiger is already for some time looking for a buyer of its bicycle division. Owner Heinrich Villiger, who visited last month’s Interbike Show (it is said that he met in Las Vegas […]

BUTTISHOLZ, Switzerland (October 28) – Trek is currently negotiating with the bicycle division of Swiss Villiger Soehne AG about a possible take over. Villiger is already for some time looking for a buyer of its bicycle division. Owner Heinrich Villiger, who visited last month’s Interbike Show (it is said that he met in Las Vegas Trek Group CEO John Burke), wants to concentrate on his tobacco division. It is expected that the discussions between Trek and Villiger will be finalized in November and that if Trek takes over Villiger the deal will include Villiger-Diamant’s production facility, warehouse and administration office in Hartmannsdorf, Germany.
Villiger’s bicycle division would fit into Trek’s ambitions for Europe. About Trek’s disappointing European business John Burke said during the Interbike Show: “We could do much better on the European market. Therefore we as an international company will shift our American focus in the near future also more on Europe than before. We have done already some changes. Due to some restructures we will be able to present our Trek, Gary Fisher, Klein, Bontrager and Lemond brands much better than before. We will also increase our service. Service was and is the key to our success in America. We will transfer this know-how to our European headquarters”.
Another factor to take into account regarding the business of Trek in Europe is that city bikes are missing in the Trek range. Without these urban mobility models the leading US bicycle producer is not able to become a key player in Europe. Nevertheless Trek Group’s CEO John Burke answered Bike Europe on questions about the possible takeover of Villiger: “We have always had a policy that we do not discuss acquisitions.”
Next to Villiger-Diamant there are more bike makers in Germany looking for partners or companies to take over their business. Strong rumours indicate that Sprick, including Merkers Rad, is for sale while the same goes for Kettler’s bicycle division. (JB)

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