Indian Hero Cycles Acquires Foothold on European Market
LUDHIANA, INDIA – Hero Cycles, India’s biggest bike maker, has acquired a majority share in Avocet Sports; the Manchester, UK based importer and distributor of bikes, electric bicycles and P&A. With this take-over Hero meets its ambition to enter the European high-end markets.
Already for some years Hero Cycles is aimed at entering the EU markets for among others its A2B e-bike brand. In 2012 Hero Group’s subsidiary HeroEco took over A2B from bankrupted Ultra Motor. Since then Hero was looking for a production base in Europe. For that talks started with ailing German bike maker MIFA in 2013. However, these negotiations failed; probably because of MIFA’s financial problems. The German bike maker has been taken over by automotive parts maker IFA Rotorion.
Hero’s ambition to establish a global footprint in bikes remained as Hero Cycles’ MD Pankaj Munjal stated in a Indian business magazine. His goal is to reach a 5% value wise share of the, at 36 billion euro valued, global bike market. For that, according to Munjal Hero Cycles has reserved about 40 million euro for acquisitions.
A part of that acquisition budget has now been used for the take-over of Avocet Sports; the company that was owned by industry veteran Steven Walsh. The take-over took place for an undisclosed sum.
‘Becoming key player in Europe’
“This acquisition marks our entry into the European market and plays an important role in realizing our ambition in becoming one of the key players in Europe,” commented Pankaj Munjal on the take-over.
Manchester-based Avocet Sports is one of UK’s main importers of bikes, electric bikes and P&A and has ties with retailers like Tesco, Halfords and ASDA. Hero Cycles is part of the Hero Group that has sales reportedly in excess of € 1 billion. In addition to traditional bicycles, privately held Hero Group and Hero Cycles has both electric bike and motorcycle divisions, as well as interests in information technology and financial services.