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Raleigh owner Accell Group gets €845m bid from Pon Holdings, which owns brands including Cervélo

Bidder sees “excellent strategic fit” between the two groups – deal would create one of world’s biggest bike businesses

Accell Group, the Netherlands-based company that owns historic UK bike firm Raleigh, has received a takeover offer from another Dutch business, Pon Holdings, owner of brands including Cervélo.

The proposed deal, valued at €845 million, would also create one of the biggest players in the global bicycle industry.

Pon Holdings already owns the rights to Raleigh in Europe, but the deal, if completed, would bring it the brand’s UK and US markets, too.

The company was believed to have been interested in buying Nottingham-based Raleigh in 2012, but missed out to Accell Group, whose stable of brands includes Diamondback, Lapierre, Batavus and Sparta.

Originally a car importer and distributor, Pon Holdings has diversified in recent years into other transport related areas, including the cycling market.

Following a string of acquisitions, it now owns brands including Dutch marque Gazelle, Germany’s Focus and Kalkhoff and US mountain bike specialist Santa Cruz.

In a statement released this morning, it said: “After a detailed assessment of the strategy and performance of Accell Group, Pon Holdings has concluded there is an excellent strategic fit between the bike activities of both companies with benefits for all stakeholders.

“The combination results in the world's leading global bicycle company," it added.

Accell Group said it is having “exploratory discussions with Pon Holdings” over the offer, which reflects a 27 per cent premium to its closing share price yesterday, and that its supervisory and executive boards “are carefully reviewing and considering all aspects of the proposal.”

The company claims to be the market leader in Europe when measured by turnover, and in 2016, Accell Group sold approximately 1.5 million bicycles, generating sales of more than € 1 billion. 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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