Easybike Acquires E-Bike Manufacturer Matra
LE BOURGET, France – Easybike signed a letter of intent with Matra owner Lagardère for the acquisition of the e-bike factory in Romorantin. The Matra e-bike production will be moved to Easybike’s new plant which is under construction in Saint-Lô and expected to be ready in 2015.
The letter of intent both companies signed is valid up to November 30. “The technical know-how and sportive e-bikes are complementary to our current range,” says Easybike in a press release. Paris based Easybike, founded in 2005 by Gregory Trebaol, currently employs 30 people. Reports in the French media state that the company is experiencing strong growth in the e-bike market with sales of 14 million euro in 2013 against 10.5 million euro in 2012.
Production relocation back to France
Today only a small part of Easybike’s production comes from the facility in Saint-Lô. The acquisition of the Solex brand in 2013 together with the company’s strategy to relocate production back to France is supported by the authorities. The town of Saint-Lô even invested 2.5 million euro in the new e-bike factory. Finally between 40,000 and 60,000 e-bikes are planned to be assembled in the Saint-Lô facility annually.
In 2013 Matra Manufacturing Services assembled 8,000 e-bikes in Romorantin. However, the company generated 18 million euro in turnover at a substantial loss. This is partly due to the settlements of the 2002 and 2003 social plans when the car production was terminated. “The resolution of this conflict will remain with Lagardère,” says Michel Caillon president of Matra Manufacturing Services.
Matra Manufacturing Services will retain the production of spare parts for the Renault Avantime and Espace. “But it is doomed to disappear, as the latest Renault Espace went out of production in 2002.”
Matra has also spent over USD 1.5 million for the acquisition and development of a new high-density battery, in partnership with the American company, AllCell. However Easybike has a contract with Samsung regarding battery development and therefore do not need this technology, this Matra high-density battery will never go into production.