Derby Germany Named to Take-Over Dutch Gazelle after Action by Accell Group
Last week Accell Group, mother of (among others) Batavus, Koga and Sparta, announced that it has taken a minority stake in the German bicycle manufacturer Derby Cycle AG. This action has led to speculation among financial analysts about a possible takeover
OLDENBURG, Germany – Last week Accell Group, ‘mother’ of (among others) Batavus, Koga and Sparta, announced that it has taken a minority stake in the German bicycle manufacturer Derby Cycle AG. This action has led to speculation among financial analysts about a possible takeover of Dutch Gazelle by Derby Cycle.
Analysts in the banking world say that Accell Group tries to prevent a possible takeover of Gazelle by acquiring a minority share in Derby Cycle. With that the Dutch holding company is attempting to protect its big interests in the Dutch market against new players.
Contributing to this speculation is that Accell Group is legally not allowed to take-over Gazelle due the large share of Accell’s subsidiaries in the Dutch market. That share stands at over 35% (and for e-bikes well above 50%). With that competition legislation prohibits such a takeover of Gazelle by Accell Group.
Last week Accell Group announced it had bought 5.7% of the shares of Derby Cycle AG. This accounts for a multi million euro investment in a direct competitor as Accell Group is also active on the German market via its subsidiary Winora. According to the Dutch holding company the reason for its action is: “An attractive investment from a financial perspective. Accell Group values the strong development of Derby Cycle and recognizes the underlying positive trends and successful business strategy.”
The Heerenveen, Holland based holding furthers in its press release: “Last February Derby Cycle went public to support its growth initiatives. Through the listing of Derby Cycle on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Accell Group was able to acquire a minority interest and thus to participate in the future growth of Derby Cycle. There are no discussions between the companies about possible further interest.”
On a possible take-over of Gazelle, CEO Bert Piëst, who resigned last month, said in an interview with the Dutch dealer magazine Tweewieler: “Gilde and is and remains our majority shareholder. But our current strong financial situation and market share, are inviting to strategically survey for a possible new major shareholder.”