Take-Over of Major Bike Maker: Dutch Bicycle Group
SCHIEDAM, The Netherlands – Three to four years ago the Dutch Bicycle Group did about 250,000 bikes and was a major supplier of, among other retail chains, Halfords NL. Now this mid-sized maker has been taken-over.
With the market declining in The Netherlands, also the results of the Dutch Bicycle Group (CEO Hennie van Rijswijk) declined. The company tried to resolve this by selling one of its bike brands – Union – to Pon Holdings (owner of Derby Cycle and Gazelle) last October. Furthermore, DBG took over some mega-shops and started a retail chain called Mobion Mobility Stores.
The two Mobion stores were declared bankrupt last week in The Netherlands. When asked about comments on this bankruptcy the Dutch Bicycle Group issued a press release in which it is stated that the company is to be sold and a buyer has been found.
That buyer is named Hypo Group. This is not the renowned Austrian banking group, but a company that calls itself: “World leader in the field of equestrian sports equipment.” Hypo Group and DBG BV have recently agreed that the Hypo Group will take a majority stake in DBG. The acquisition of DBG will be completed this month.
In its statement on the take-over Hypo Group says that it is already for some time looking for expansion outside the equestrian sports sector. With the DBG acquisition Hypo Group sees ample opportunities for being evenly successful in the bike sector as the company is in equestrian sports products: “The two organizations have, beyond their products, a lot in common. Synergy effects are expected which will soon contribute to the success of DBG.”
Under Hypo Group management DBG will focus on two main activities; first, production and sale of bicycles on the domestic market and, in particular abroad. The company sees ample possibilities to grow its international bike sales on a short term. Rental bike schemes home and abroad are to be the second main activity of DBG. However, this doesn’t mean that Hypo Group is interested in retailing. As indicated with the Mobion bankruptcy, retail activities are no longer regarded a core business for DBG.
Building international brands
DBG’s new CEO is Rhody Udo who comes from Hypo Group. He states: “As world leader in equestrian sports products we have our own production facilities in Asia and are strong in procurement. Also we have a lot of experience in building international brands. That’s what we intend to do in bikes too and will be the core strategy for DBG as bicycles are a magnificent Dutch export product.”
Currently Hypo Group operates 13 equestrian stores in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as wholesaling companies in several countries.
On the former DBG owner – Hennie van Rijswijk – it is said that he will stay involved in the bicycle business through its Chinese/Taiwanese trading company in bicycle parts and accessories named Wheelwell.