New York, US
One of Europe’s largest bike conglomerates, Accell Group, is set to be purchased by New York-based investment firm KKR, in a €1.56 billion (A$2.527 billion) buyout that represents a 21% premium on Accell’s all-time highest stock market valuation.
The companies late last month reached a conditional agreement on an all-cash public offer of €58 ($93.96) per share, 26% higher than Accell’s closing price on the week of the agreement (€48 (A$77.76) per share).
A joint statement from the two groups said Accell’s public listing on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange would be terminated, offering greater development potential for the company.
As part of the purchase settlement, Accell will receive an additional revolving credit facility at its disposal of €150 million (A$242.99), for capital financing and general corporate purposes.
Accell Group CEO Ton Anbeek welcomed the purchase – expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2022 – as an important step that would enable Accell to accelerate the roll-out of its strategies.
Accelerated Strategy Roll-out
“With the consortium as our new shareholder, we will have a financially strong and knowledgeable partner to accelerate the roll-out of our existing strategic roadmap, enhance our global footprint, explore suitable acquisitions and further leverage our scale,” Ton said.
“The transaction will enable us to take a leap forward as a group, which also brings along enhanced career opportunities for our employees.
“We continuously strive to be a leader in the bicycle industry by combining smart design and innovative technology with the best value and customer experience. With KKR coming on board as the majority shareholder, and with the continued support of (existing major shareholder) Teslin, we would be able to accelerate the execution of our strategic agenda, launch new innovations for green mobility and support to the benefit of people and communities.”
Accell is already Europe’s largest manufacturer of e-bikes and its second largest producer of parts and accessories.
Its list of bike brands, including many European market leaders, comprises Haibike, Winora, Ghost, Batavus, Koga, Lapierre, Raleigh, Sparta, Babboe and Carqon.
The company employs approximately 3,100 people across 15 countries.
The statement says the Group’s business, operations and corporate identity will be maintained in their current form, with its headquarters to remain in Heerenveen, in the Netherlands
Accell will continue to be headed by its existing board of management: CEO Ton Anbeek and CFO Ruben Baldew, along with CSCO Francesca Gamboni, who assumed the role on 1st February.
The chairman of Accell’s Supervisory Board, Rob ter Haar, said the purchase would strengthen the group’s position as one of the world’s leading bicycle market players, “against a backdrop of continued supply chain volatility and a dynamic global environment full of challenges and opportunities”.
Commitment to Green Innovations
KKR said it fully supports Accell’s business ambitions and strategy, including a commitment to launching new innovations for green mobility among its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals
The purchasing consortium and Accell Group have been working together to implement a capital structure that will give Accell sufficient liquidity to invest in its growth initiatives and to fund its working capital requirements.
Their joint statement said Accell’s business operations and long-term value creation would be assisted by having a single shareholder with a long-term focus. It gave Accell “the ability to implement and focus on achieving in an accelerated time frame, long-term strategic goals and operational achievements … as opposed to short-term performance driven by periodic reporting and market expectations”.