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Raleigh owner Accell Group to cut jobs and streamline European production to "simplify operations and enhance efficiency"

Redundancies will affect Accell Group's Netherlands-based workforce, with two facilities to merge and some production relocated to Hungary and Turkey...

The company that owns bike brands such as Raleigh, Lapierre and Ghost is to "simplify operations and enhance efficiency" by merging facilities and cutting up to 150 jobs.

And while this round of redundancies is, Bike Europe reports, to be solely felt at Accell Group's Dutch-based facilities as sites are merged and some production relocated across Europe, it comes just weeks after redundancies at Raleigh were confirmed as part of a restructuring process at the iconic British bike brand's Nottingham headquarters.

> Raleigh confirms redundancies and Nottingham headquarters move in "very difficult decision"

Much of the language around those Raleigh redundancies — Accell saying it would "better position our operations for sustainable growth" — is similarly heard again in the company's comments about the move to "simplify operations and enhance efficiency" at its Heerenveen-based facilities, with up to 150 job losses expected and nearly half of the 320 permanent employees facing the threat of dismissal.

For context, in December the credit agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Accell Group and questioned if its finances were "unsustainable". The aforementioned formal employee consultation on restructuring proposals at Raleigh, resulting in relocation and job losses, followed. As did Accell Group closing Ghost's German factory and a restructuring at another of its brands, Babboe.

Accell Group was sold to KKR in 2022 as part of a €1.6 billion deal, the US firm last year committing an additional €250 million of funding, something Accell believes, along with the restructuring of its businesses, will see it through the difficult times being experienced in the bike industry.

Its streamlining of the supply chain will see high-volume models moved to existing factories in Hungary and Turkey as part of a wider move to "become more efficient and less complex".

"I am impressed by our strong European production capabilities and see significant potential to further utilise them to become a more efficient and less complex company. We will continue to produce all brands in Heerenveen, but I am confident that the iconic brands in our portfolio can benefit from further integration into our European platform," CEO Tjeerd Jegen said.

"Unfortunately, the relocation of production cannot take place without certain positions being eliminated, and we realise that this will have a significant impact on the affected individuals. We will do our utmost to inform and support everyone as effectively as possible. We are convinced that these actions are necessary to improve our competitive position and ensure sustainable long-term growth."

> Job cuts and restructuring to take place at Raleigh Bikes as it deals with a "challenging market"

The Dutch Trade Union Federation has slammed the move and suggested "you can almost speak of the end for Accell in the Netherlands".

"After KKR took over the company at the end of 2022, an ambition was expressed that the location in Heerenveen would become a 'high-end' factory, but now you can almost speak of 'the end' for Accell in the Netherlands," Erik Kotters, a board member at the union, said. "The company now states its intention to move a large part of its production to Hungary and Turkey, continuing production in Heerenveen only for cargo bikes and so-called 'high-end' bikes like Koga Miyata.

"But if there is no swift investment in new production processes, I foresee a second wave of reorganisation in the short term, ultimately leading to the end of Accell in the Netherlands. We want to sit down with the Accell management as soon as possible to further explain their plans, and there must be firm agreements about a decent social plan for the affected workers."

The news comes weeks after redundancies at Raleigh were also confirmed, Accell refusing to comment on how many of the roughly 100 employees at the bike brand's Eastwood head office have lost their jobs in a move that would see the site vacated in "due course", its parts and accessories department closed, and warehousing outsourced.


"Following the launch of a business review and employee consultation, our proposed changes to Accell's UK operations have been confirmed and will be implemented," Accell said in a statement released at the time.

"These changes will better integrate Accell UK into the wider Group business and position our UK operations for sustainable growth while retaining our HQ in the Nottingham area. This has been a very difficult decision and we are supporting those impacted by the changes, while maintaining our service to our bike shop partners and customers."

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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