Accell Group Acquires Top-3 Positions in Southern European Markets
For some years Accell Group CEO Ren Takens (photo) reported at press meetings on the companys financial results his interest in taking over companies in the Southern part of Europe. That strategic goal has now been realized as Accell has acquired
HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands – For some years Accell Group CEO René Takens (photo) reported at press meetings on the company’s financial results his interest in taking over companies in the Southern part of Europe. That strategic goal has now been realized as Accell has acquired strong positions in both Italy and Turkey.
The company announced today that it has reached agreement on the acquisition of all outstanding shares in Bianchi Bisiklet A.S. (Turkey), which also includes a 50% participation in the well-known Italian company Atala.
In a press release the bike holding company states: “The acquisition provides Accell Group strong positions in both Turkey and Italy, two attractive markets for bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories. Accell Group will finance the acquisition from its existing credit facilities. The acquisition will make a positive contribution to earnings per share as of 2011.”
René Takens, CEO of Accell Group says in the press release: “This acquisition gives us in one fell swoop a top-3 position in two important sales markets. In addition, the takeover further improves our geographical spread and boosts our growth potential. Turkey is a fast-growing economy with an increasing usage and sales of bicycles. Italy has a long-standing and classic cycling culture, especially for leisure purposes. In recent years, we have also seen an increased demand for bicycles which are used in cities, among which electric bicycles.”
Bianchi Bisiklet in Turkey employs on average a staff of around 300. Around 40% of the bicycles produced are sold in Turkey, with the remaining 60% exported to Italy and other European countries. At the end of 2000 the company opened a 6 million US dollar costing new factory 40 kilometers outside of Izmir in Turkey with electrostatic painting facility, two modern assembly lines, automated wheelbuilding and ISO 9001 certification. In 2005 Bianchi Bisiklet took over Atala in Italy for 4 million euro followed in 2008 by another renowned name in the Italian bike scene, Carraro. At that time the company also established its P&A business under the Byte brand name.
The take-overs and the new factory were part of Bianchi Turkey’s President Ovadya Sarda strategy to take advantage of Turkey’s proximity to Europe and the country’s duty free export status for Europe. Currently Bianchi Bisiklet sells approximately 250,000 bicycles annually and has a yearly turnover of approximately € 30 million.
Atala has in Italy, like Bianchi Bisiklet in Turkey, a strong distribution network of independent bicycle dealers (IBDs). The company boasts about having the largest distribution network in the country with about 2,500 dealers. Atala sells approximately 125,000 bicycles and has an annual turnover of approximately € 31 million, including bicycle parts and accessories and fitness.
Atala’s shares are held by Bianchi Bisiklet and strategic Italian investors (50% each), employs a staff of around 30 and is focusing primarily on design, sales and logistics. Atala is a trading company which, in addition to the sale of bicycles under its own brand name Atala, also sells bicycles under the brand names Whistle, Carraro and Dei. The Italian bicycles are partly produced in the Bianchi Bisiklet production facility in Turkey and partly purchased at other suppliers.
Bianchi Bisiklet has the exclusive licence to sell Bianchi brand bicycles in Turkey and is operationally completely independent of the Italian Bianchi company which is a subsidiary of Cycleurope AB, part of the Stockholm based Grimaldi Group. In order to prevent confusion with the other Bianchi bicycles brands around the World, the production facility in Turkey will be renamed in Accell Bisiklet.
The management of Bianchi Bisiklet and the management of Atala will remain in place after the acquisition. The companies will be integrated within Accell Group as operating companies in order to maximize the group synergies. Accell Group expects to complete the acquisition in the next few months.