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Dutch firm takes top market positions in Turkey and Italy

Batavus owners Accell on a drive

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands - Dutch bicycle maker giant, the Accell Group, has concluded a deal in which it aquires all outstanding shares in Turkey-based Bianchi Bisiklet A.S., which also includes a 50 percent participation in the well-known Italian company Atala. The acquisition offers Accell Group a strong position in both Turkey and Italy, two attractive markets for bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories. The Heerenveen-based firm will finance its acquisition from its existing credit facilities. It is anticipated that the acquisition will make a positive contribution to earnings per share as of 2011.

The deal gives Accell an instant top-3 position in two important sales markets, noted Accell Group chairman René Takens, whose firm already owns the Batavus, Bremshey, Ghost, Hai Bike, Hercules, Koga, Lapierre, Loekie, Redline, Sparta, Staiger, Tunturi, Winora and XLC brands. The takeover further improves Accell’s geographical spread and boosts its growth potential.

Accell calls Turkey a fast-growing economy in which bicycles are increasingly popular, while Italy has a long-standing and classic cycling culture, especially for leisure purposes. In recent years, Accell notes, Italy has also seen an increased demand for bicycles used in cities, among which electric bicycles are becoming extremely popular.

Bianchi Bisiklet in Turkey employs a staff of around 300. The firm makes about 40 percent of its bicycles in Turkey, with the remainder exported to Italy and other European countries.

Bicycle internationally

Italy-based Atala employs a staff of around 30, focusing primarily on design, sales and logistics. A trading company, Atala, in addition to its own brand name, also sells brand names Whistle, Carraro and Dei, partly produced in Turkey and partly purchased from other suppliers. Both firms have a strong distribution network of independent bicycle dealers in their country. Together, they sell approximately 375,000 bicycles annually for a turnover of over 60 million euro per annum.

In 2009, the Accell Group reported sales of 572.6 million euros, compared with 538 million euros in 2008, with net profit levels of 32.7 million euros in 2009 and 28.6 million euros in 2008. Sales are distributed across the company’s key markets, with the Netherlands leading at 41 percent, followed by Germany (25 percent) and France (10 percent). Other European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Spain and the UK, jointly account for 17 percent. The remaining 7 percent represents sales in countries outside Europe, including the U.S. and Canada.