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Raleigh owner Accell breaks off takeover talks with bidder Pon Holdings

Company says revised offer from fellow Dutch firm that would have created world's biggest bicycle business still undervalues it...


Accell Group, the owner of iconic UK bike brand Raleigh, has ended talks with fellow Dutch business Pon Holdings which launched a takeover bid for it last month, saying that its revised offer still undervalues the business.

The deal would have created the world’s largest manufacturer of bicycles in terms of turnover, bringing together brands including Accell’s Raleigh, Diamondback, Lapierre, Batavus and Sparta, and Pon Holdings’ Cervélo, Gazelle, Focus and Santa Cruz.

Pon Holdings, which also owns the rights to Raleigh in Europe, increased its original bid of €32 per share to €33 per share, but Accell Group’s interim chairman, Hielke Sybesma, confirmed today that the company had broken off discussions.

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

“Having studied every important aspect of the offer, the supervisory board and the executive board have come to the joint conclusion that Pon Holding’s offer does not sufficiently reflect the future value creation of Accell Group and the expected synergies,” he said.

“It has also become clear that the offer lacks sufficient support from shareholders.

“The reference we used for our assessment of the proposal was the roll-out of our refined strategy and the value this will enable us to create, as well as the interests of all stakeholders.

“Based on this we will currently discontinue the talks with Pon Holdings.”

Pon Holdings, orginally a car importer and distributor that diversified into the cycling market, said it was “surprised” at Accell Group’s decision to end the discussions, “especially given the fact that for more than a month and a half intensive talks with Accell have taken place, which included the start of the due diligence.”

The combined business would have had annual sales of some €1.7 billion with sales of around 2.3 million bicycles a year.

Simon joined 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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