ZEG Confirms Acquisition of Kettler’s Bicycle Division
COLOGNE, Germany – The world’s largest dealer cooperative ZEG officially confirmed the takeover of Kettler’s bicycle division including its Hanweiler-based bike factory. It marks a change in ZEG’s strategy as the retail organization is now a bicycle manufacturer as well.
According to a press release ZEG has been a long-time partner of the struggling outdoor furniture-, fitness equipment-, toys- and aluminium bicycle manufacturer Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG. Detailed terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is conditional upon the approval of the transaction by the relevant competition authorities.
Importance of ‘Made in Germany’
“Kettler bicycles has been known for innovation and quality,” noted ZEG Managing Director Georg Honkomp. “We want to continue the tradition of the ‘Made in Germany’ brand and keep its staff on board. As part of that strategy we are investing in production in Germany.” To handle production, sales and distribution ZEG founded a new subsidiary named Kettler Alu-Rad GmbH.
With this acquisition the German powerhouse is again investing in a strong traditional brand. In 2013 Cologne-based ZEG acquired Wanderer and in 2014 Hercules. Both German brands are known for their long term tradition.
For Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG the sale of the bicycle division is a milestone in the ongoing reorganization. Since 1 September the manufacturer is working on an insolvency plan ‘in self-administration’ which offers the company options for recapitalization in order to avoid bankruptcy.
According to company owner Dr. Karin Kettler (daughter of company founder Heinz Kettler) and the Kettler management the insolvency plan is scheduled to be finalized together with the creditors at the end of this year. Kettler wants to restart as a leading manufacturer of outdoor furniture, fitness equipment and toys within three remaining business divisions early 2016.