YT Industries Acquired By Private Equity Group Ardian

Aug 3, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
CVO Markus Flossmann and CEO Sam Nichols.

Private equity group Ardian has acquired a majority stake in YT Industries to invest in the bike industry's growth and expand YT's market in Europe and the US.

Last fall, YT appointed former Amazon country manager Sam Nichols as the new CEO, replacing co-founder Markus Flossmann. Flossmann then took the title of CVO, or Chief Visionary Officer, and continues to direct the brand and product identity. The change was, in part, a response to the heightened demand from the COVID bike boom, and a decision aimed to help the direct-to-consumer company expand by bringing in someone with extensive experience in developing e-commerce platforms. Now, YT says investment from Ardian will help the brand to grow further.

bigquotesWith Ardian as a partner, we look forward to taking the business to the next level by expanding our business internationally and getting even closer to our customers. For us, it is essential to remain faithful to our values ​​which have made our success: we focus on quality, innovation and our community. We look forward to leading the company to the next chapter in its young history.Markus Flossmann, YT co-founder and CVO

According to Nichols, YT has been moving at "full speed" to put more focus on customers and make data-driven decisions, which he says will help the brand to anticipate and meet demand, bringing new products to market "at the right time." Ardian executive Dirk Wittneben likewise said that YT has been making effective business decisions and backing from Ardian will help the brand to capitalize on the bike industry's recent explosion.

bigquotesThe combination of one of the most popular mountain bike brands and the underlying structural growth in the markets international mountain biking offers significant growth potential for YT. The founders and the innovative and ambitious management team combine a strong passion for the product, a very successful marketing approach and a remarkable direct-to-consumer online distribution model. We are happy to support Sam, Markus and the leadership team on their journey of growth ahead.Dirk Wittneben, Ardian Managing Director and Head of Investments for the German Speaking Countries

The transaction remains subject to authorization from competition authorities, and the financial details of the transaction have not been made public.


235 Comments

  • 1504 6
 At least somebody was able to acquire something from YT. I wonder how long they had to wait.
  • 31 3
 Ha! That’s awesome.
  • 58 6
 Outstanding. One of the best comments I have read this year.
  • 7 3
 Yes, YES!
  • 5 2
 That has to sting a little.
  • 8 18
flag Vlad-Putin (Aug 3, 2021 at 18:27) (Below Threshold)
 This deal has been in the works for three years.
  • 14 10
 Gwin , back to YT for 2022!
  • 15 1
 This has to be in the running for comment of the year
  • 7 4
 'Don t mention the war'
  • 4 1
 That’s gold
  • 17 2
 Brace yourselves for YT+
  • 1 0
 @scary1: please
  • 1 4
 Sold my YT 3 months ago.
  • 4 3
 I pledge three months of Outside+ subscription to you for that.
  • 2 1
 comment of the year candidate Big Grin
  • 12 1
 they probably waited too long for their bikes so they figured lets just buy the sh...t
  • 4 1
 @Hugamo:

Dentist Level +1 , if the Bike isn't expensive enough , buy the company that owes them
  • 4 2
 YT customers felt this comment in their soul
  • 1 1
 ouch!! that´s so true!!!
  • 4 2
 I bought a YT once. 3 weeks after the due date they told me they had lost my bike. It took another 6 months to actually get the bike, I got a 10% discount. I have heard so many stories like this about Yount Galent.
  • 2 1
 Epic
  • 8 3
 Wonder if this is to cover Christopher Walken's back pay?

Dead Horse
  • 1 0
 Again there's a bad MAVIC joke in here...
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: Even better, look at AMER and (GU) ARDIAN... at least someone was willing to halfway blow someone to aquire a brand... Wait where's your I.D. again???
  • 2 1
 I was trying to "acquire" YT, but got Commencal Clash instead, cause... you know.
  • 1 0
 @scary1: Never going to Happen he is a Part Owner of Intense.
  • 5 0
 @SoCalTrailRailer: think he owns the race team - not intense cycles.
  • 2 0
 @Mecadav: When your dentist calls his VC fund manager cousin, LOL.
  • 1 0
 @DirtbagMatt: I was trying to play along with the joke (ie they waited three years) but missed. Win some lose some.
  • 1 0
 @Vlad-Putin: Oh snap!!! I just got ur joke. LOL’s on me...
  • 264 3
 Moving forward nothing screams committed to providing the best mountain bikes like "private equity group".
  • 23 0
 You never know, it might go like Fox and he'll buy YT back at a massive discount a few years later.
  • 53 4
 TBH theyre probably going to fix their supply chain first thing. Probably not a bad thing.
  • 33 2
 @me2menow: it cant get any worse
  • 18 4
 @me2menow: none of the other big brands held by mega firms are doing any better with the supply issues so i wouldn't hold my breath.. . . Looking at you Santa Cruz.
  • 26 3
 @Trudeez: you realize that Santa Cruz isn’t really having production issues themselves… it’s the components causing issues
  • 14 0
 @stormracing: we can't get a SC frame any easier than we can a complete bike. While yes, the components manufacturers are really struggling (sram is telling us end of '23 on eagle chains.....) the frame manufacturers aren't doing a whole lot better. It's one mess after another piling together to create one giant mess.
  • 2 3
 @stormracing: Santa Cruz can pump out as many frames as they want… that’s why they built their own carbon factory in China.
  • 5 13
flag Vlad-Putin (Aug 3, 2021 at 18:28) (Below Threshold)
 @stormracing: lol as if Santa actually manufactures anything. Basically you’re saying their frame manufacturer hasn’t screwed up. Yet.
  • 8 0
 @Vlad-Putin: they actually have and own their own factory. Yes it is oversees but they do their own stuff
  • 1 0
 @wibblywobbly: yes sir
That was the point I was trying to make
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: that’s because of how they want to do things. They are waiting for parts to do and sell completes but they don’t have any frame production issues at all
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: The problem is they need to take the company close to bankruptcy first for that to happen, and the usual outcome is the company collapses, not that the original owners get it back at pennies on the dollar. It's a risky proposition...
  • 6 0
 @Trudeez: Youre talking about covid related constraints. YT never produced enough for their demand since inception.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: I wonder if motorcycle components are held up too.
  • 1 1
 @me2menow: they will never fix that. They should own their own supply chain instead of relying on someone. This is NOT Amazon!!!
  • 4 0
 All thanks to the Chief Selling-out Officer, CSO
  • 1 0
 It will solve the supply / demand issues, you'll be able to get one from Walmart soon.
  • 3 0
 @Trudeez: the complaints about YT’d supply chain issues pre-date covid by years. It would be a feat of masterful business management if they were able to modify and improve their supply chain processes and leadership in the midst of a global supply chain shortage
  • 5 0
 @me2menow: "Private Equity groups" buy companies and squeeze them to bring in as much money and make them appear profitable on paper so that they can then resell them. They were probably attracted to YT's backlog. PVG's love having long pipelines. They will grow them to make their balance sheets look better. My company is owned by 1. This is not positive. They will try to spin it.
  • 3 0
 @plyawn: I would argue that the company is dead already, it's simply a matter of when and how. If the company grows the owners will fold it into their existing corporate structure and get rid of the existing staff (see Trek buying Electra and firing everyone, see also Samsung and AKG). That way they maxismise control and profit, the people who made the company end up just as fired as if the company folded.
  • 1 0
 @RAYTANGO: wtf are you talking about
  • 1 0
 @RAYTANGO: You literally made a pinkbike account to leave this nonsensical comment lmao
  • 2 0
 Hmmm...wondering what I got downvoted for.

You know Scot Nicol sold Ibis to some private investors in 2000 right? The new owners ran it into the ground in less than two years. Some time goes by and Scot Nicol (and others, I think) buy back the name and found the company we know today. Correct me if I'm wrong there @ibiscycles

And they have made some awesome bikes both before and since their resurrection. I still have my Mojo SL...one of the very first with the matte baby poo rubberized finish.
  • 1 1
 @mexicant: Yep. Once a company is purchased by a private equity group, that company is done. It's just how long it will take to squeeze out any profit and then sell it (in pieces if necessary).
  • 2 0
 @kabanosipyvo: Bought the TM from creditors, got Scot, Roxy, Tom and Colin together for the new team.
  • 1 0
 @hans-heim: Thanks Hans!
  • 2 0
 @kabanosipyvo: Scot Nicol sold the brand in the early 2000s. The buyers promptly ran the business into the ground. Hans Heim, Tom Morgan, and Scot Nicol brought the brand back to life. The ownership team now includes Roxy Lo (our Industrial Designer) and Colin Hughes (our Engineering Manager).

TL;DR: We are an independent rider owned brand.
  • 1 0
 @Three6ty: That's what I though when Niner got bought be a PE firm.
  • 162 3
 Amazon corporate officers and private equity buyouts are SO CORE!!!
  • 57 0
 Totally. It wasn't until VF acquired The North Face and VANS that it felt like those brands finally got in touch with the gritty core of the sport that had always eluded them. You don't find that until you get a bunch of PE observer seats on your board.
  • 10 9
 @Hayek: I still like TNF and VANS makes some nice snowboard boots. However, I much prefer to shop with Patagonia and Arcteryx.
  • 37 0
 @Hayek: Shit, Arcteryx is owned by a Chinese multinational now. Oh well.
  • 8 2
 @HB208: perfect. I bet that’ll really help them nail down what ice-climbers and mountaineers are looking for in technical apparel. And maybe this Big Data I’m hearing so about from PE firms will lend a helping hand.
  • 9 0
 @Hayek: Yeah, I mean, TNF and Arcteryx support a ton of athletes. I don't know what makes a brand "core", but they seem to support the communities that they serve more than a lot of brands. Red Bull isn't "core" but does right by its athletes as well and sponsors a ton of huge and unique events.

I also just got some new ski gear from TNF (on deep discount at a factory store) and the high end stuff is legit.
  • 4 0
 @HB208: for sure. Its just a funny thing to announce when you want to be seen as the gritty brand in the industry. If they hadn’t announced it and had just gone on making bikes we would never have realized and we wouldn’t have cared. Once you go down the rabbit hole of who owns who, you realize that most companies have given away a piece of the pie in order to grow and nobody ever realized.
  • 5 0
 Hot topic is not punk rock
  • 13 0
 @Lo-J: Neither is punk rock
  • 2 1
 @JohnnyVV: maybe not for you squares..
  • 1 0
 You can only be Core while you are Kvlt. YT, TNF, ARC' SUPREME, etc. were too successful and got too big..... This was a move by big money wanting a piece of the lucrative Covid-bike space.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: redbull is a marketing firm who purchased the rights to be the sole distributor for a random energy drink that one of their executives tasted while on a trip. Definitely not "core" but the vision behind tasting some random drink and deciding that you can create an entirely new category marketed through action sports is pretty amazing. It's actually a pretty cool story imo.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: Yep I remember drinking an energy beverage in Thailand called Lipo Vitan (sp) in the late 80 and later when I tried a Red Bull I was like ....HEY! Unmistakable lineage
  • 67 4
 Hats off to you if you can make some nice bikes and get rich. Doesn't happen often!
  • 20 3
 agree, everyone is always so jealous of someone else's success. kudos to those who can make moves like this.
  • 12 0
 @SterlingArcher: Also, agree. He built YT from the ground up and has disrupted the MTB market big time. I'm a big fan of YT from a business perspective and have huge respect for what they have achieved.
  • 6 1
 @skill7: often times, those who complain about others' successes will never become successful themselves. so yeah, i invite haters to keep complaining, leaves less competition for us at the top.
  • 2 3
 @SterlingArcher: This would first need to define what success is. For instance, what about the guy at BTR ? He makes some of the nicest MTB IMHO, all by himself, and to me, even if he doesn't make millions, he's successful.

There's this post on his IG that sums up the whole dilemma :
www.instagram.com/p/CPsL40UhbrF

Or what about We Are One ? So far they seem pretty successful to me.

Personnally if I were to have a business, I'd like to be able to keep it human size, from A to Z, so probably about 50 people maximum (but I'm afraid it's not part of my personnality. I think I'm more a team player than a leader, so for me it's more about finding the right leader, one that won't try to screw me...).
I'd be surprised if YT's CVO could name all the guys laying up the carbon in far east asia, although without them there's no YT anymore.

And instead of one big YT, there could be several smaller ones.
Not to take a stab at YT (the 1st comment up there is enough) but as much as I've been a fan of japanese animation, I'd rather have a good customer service than an anime for the release of a bike.

Or maybe we have to redefine what success is ?
  • 1 5
flag SterlingArcher (Aug 5, 2021 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Will-narayan: I didn’t read all that just so you know
  • 2 1
 @SterlingArcher: Too bad, I thought it was interesting, but maybe you can at least read up to the IG link, and read the IG post as well.
  • 2 0
 @Will-narayan: I don't know, the ig link seems nice but has nothing to do with reality. In real life, the fisherman has to work his ass off every day to get food and maintain the roof over his head. Until he dies. Flossmann work his ass off for like 10 years, sold the company, now is able to do really what he wants, maby invest here and there if he wants to maintain his lifestyle. While the fisherman still has to work every day a couple hours bevore he gets to chill.
  • 1 2
 @Pussyslayer: Sure but it’s a question of measure (but anyway, there are places where they fish just what they need. Where there’s enough fish left that is).
I’m tempted to say that working everyday to get food until we die IS what life is about. This is true for any and every species on earth, and it was true for humans when we were hunters-gatherers. Then we settled and turned everything around : From depending on our environment, we modeled our environment to suit ours needs (agriculture, farming). We were probably fighting among tribes, but inside tribes maybe there was solidarity. Then everything was ruled by society’s laws and money. And we started exploiting each other.
For instance, being a landlord is, in a way, a predatory behavior, it’s basically saying « if you want to live in that space that is totally useless to me, but that I have made mine through this weird economic system, you have to pay me (=to feed me), or f*ck off ». This is just a territorial behavior made « ok » thanks to money.
In a way, we could compare « investment » (stock exchange, real estate) to a lion pilling up carcass of dead zebras even if it can’t eat these.
Someone who’s got independent means is basically living off other people most of the time, but curiously everybody considere this normal.
I know I’m going quite far in my thoughts, and I don’t have answers. It’s just that I don’t have hopes for humanity anymore, I think we’re f*cked. I just wish we stopped at the moment our intelligence enabled us to live comfortably, to not fear tomorrow or a bad harvesting season, but I’m not sure this moment ever existed and then it went totally south to the point where one single guy can buy a 400MM$ mega yacht, thanks to the money he made just by being born were there was oil for tens to hundreds of million years. We’ve lost it. That’s why I’m talking about « human size », cuz’ when you go bigger I think you lose it.
  • 50 1
 Is there an abundance of acquisition articles out of coincidence or because outside is trying to say "see we aren't the only ones"
  • 24 0
 Maybe investors are seeing an opportunity with the last 1+ year's rising popularity of mtb and some of the production setbacks. I can only hope that this will alleviate some of the supply chain issues and not just line the pockets of majority stakeholders.
  • 14 2
 @steveczech: conglomerates and consolidation do not expand supply chains, they constrict them.
  • 13 0
 @kokofosho: Really? You think they're going to constrain or reduce YT's production capability and raise prices then? That doesn't sound like a good business strategy.
  • 5 0
 @steveczech: You could be right. I guess time will tell.
  • 5 0
 @kokofosho: I could definitely be wrong, but I like to proceed with some optimism. Let's check back in with each other in a year or so.
  • 2 0
 When brands struggle and are having a hard time making ends meet, the big conglomerates with cash cushions swoop in and buy them out at a discount. Given how last year went and all of the supply network issues this year, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what's resulting in acquisitions this year.
  • 5 0
 When the money printer is going brrrrrrrrrrr, you've gotta stuff all those dollars into *something*
  • 2 0
 @steveczech: That is what PVG's do. They put lipstick on a pig so they can resell it for more money. The only way to do that is to lay off employees and reduce costs while trying to increase sales.
  • 1 0
 @steveczech: that might actually be the case, or might have always been YT’s business model. There are companies, and business models that believe demand should always be more than supply (Ferrari is a great example)
In order to keep demand high, they have gone to great lengths to build and develop bikes that are leading edge, great value, and come with a Tonne of hype. This has made them a very attractive proposition for a buyout in this case.
Their version of success has likely changed from the time of inception, and their business has likely become incredibly lucrative (potential, thats what is being bought here) in thid\s time of overwhelming demand.
  • 29 0
 I just sold my PB account to some prince in africa over the internet. I just need to send them 5000$ and they will then pay me 2 million. Sorry for selling out but my heart was no longer in it an it was time to cash out.
  • 28 1
 Should be good for them. Ardian doesn't have time to fiddle with their business. Basically a money dump to help them expand so their money becomes more money. Ardian has like 36 billion in company controlled assets. Has had interest in over 350 companies. It's becoming more common in the industry right now. These big business people coming from tech companies to action sports. They've made their money and now they want to have fun... or whatever. Unfortunately in some cases they don't know jack about the industry and make poor choices for the brands. In some cases it helps. A lot. I don't think that's the case here. This is an investment firm. They have no specialization in regards to industry. They seek out repayable debts, businesses that they see potential growth in, etc. Basically like a stock market company. What's gonna help them make money. What has money potential. They don't GAF what industry it's in and have no interest in running the companies.
  • 13 0
 It depends on how hands off they are. Capital injection might be a good thing for YT at this point. However, if they start telling YT how to price and produce MTBs, that is where things start getting iffy. Especially if they start aggressive cost cutting measures to boost profits short term. I'll continue to buy from Transition I think. At the end of the day, I dig the fact they are privately owned.
  • 9 0
 @HB208: it says a lot to me when the brand pops in on the comment boards to respond and address customer concerns. I'm on my second Transition because it's a rad company that you can call with a concern and get legit support right away. I'm not sure I've ever seen YT show up here, despite the constant shit kicking they get. The thing is, they know the issues are real and there's no response that will do them any good. YT needs to start supporting the customers they have and improve their reputation. Cashflow will help if it's used towards customer service and not just manufacturing efficiency.
  • 1 0
 Maybe they're not capable of writing in English
  • 1 1
 The copium is strong. Private equity ownership is a death sentence
  • 1 0
 The problem is the return Ardian want for the money dump. High risk capital doesn't come free. SOP is to load the company with dept on a high interest rate which will eventually increase the price of the product.
  • 1 0
 @jakemcab: Yeah, I have a Spur and a PBJ. Really like Transition.
  • 2 2
 private equity co's run the same gameplan in every industry. buy the business, squeeze the workers via 1000 cuts (benefits trimmed, bonuses tightened, safety budgets slashed, and so on) until the entire workforce in a company turns over into less qualified, less talented, less equipped employees that are ultimately just cheaper. then, sell to another private equity company once you've "expanded your margins" so they can do it all again!
  • 2 0
 @dkos: That's not always true. I work for a PE backed tech company that pays employees well. Sometimes the emphasis is on topline growth, which means that you can't just cut everything.
  • 29 0
 September headline preview: "Carl's Jr. (a fully-owned subsidiary of Wiggle) Acquires Outside Following Acquisition of Lifetime and Ardian"
  • 9 0
 And idiocracy is upon us.
  • 13 0
 @weebleswobbles: go away, 'batin! Wink
  • 18 0
 @weebleswobbles: Friday fails will evolve into "ouch, my balls" give it time.
  • 6 0
 You have insufficient funds for your BIG ASS FRYS. You are an unfit mother your children will now be placed in the custody of CARLS JR.
  • 4 0
 Hey, you guys like lattes?
  • 7 0
 Welcome to Costco, I love you.
  • 1 0
 [removed]
  • 1 0
 @NoahColorado: we've got this guy. Not sure. He's gonna fix everything.
  • 30 3
 nothing says 'live uncaged' like signing your company over to some equity pimps
  • 26 4
 "......................and getting even closer to our customers"

By having even worse customer service or just broadening that standard to a much broader international audience?
  • 19 0
 double....
  • 4 1
 ...cheeseburger.
  • 2 0
 @johnnygolucky: double double.
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: well played sirs!
  • 1 0
 ya, where they at? i came to the comments for their contribution! lol
  • 1 0
 They can now afford to come up with even more triggering graphics
  • 18 0
 Everyone seems to be "moving forward to the next chapter" apart from me
  • 8 7
 #metoo
  • 4 0
 “…taking the business to the next level…” Eerily similar to the @Brianpark reply to the Outside sell out. I’m not grabbing any tinfoil hat yet but…
  • 9 0
 I sort of think this is a coinflip.

Obviously, private equity has gone in and completely ruined plenty of companies in an effort to extract maximum profit for their investors.

On the other hand, there ARE situations where private equity has enabled businesses to solve real, intractable problems they hadn't been able to solve on their own.

Worst case: this is the end of YT and the rest of the industry has one less high-value high-performance bike maker to compete against.

Best case: the infusion of outside cash and talent lets YT solve some of its supply chain, distribution and service issues so that it can keep up with demand, and help prices from going stratospheric in the rest of the industry.

I looked through the investment company's portfolio, and the only two names I recognized were PetSmart and Cesars (the casinos), and I guess they haven't ruined those yet?

I'm more afraid of the worst-case than I am hopeful for the best, but I'm saying there's a chance.
  • 1 0
 Pretty much...

Good thing?
Bad thing?

It's pretty hard to know until the rubber meets the road and we can see where the brand has gone in a couple of years.

If Markus is allowed to do his job and they listen and alow him to execute I can see it working out.
  • 9 0
 Pinkbike: YT is garbage, I can't get a bike! I hate them!

*YT acquired by private equity group, whose aim is to expand the business (i.e. make more bikes for pinkbike to buy)*

Pinkbike: YT sold out, what a bunch of losers. Terrible idea, I hate them!

I get a good chuckle out of these comments sometimes. Wink
  • 3 0
 I like to add that I got my 2 YT bikes in under 2 weeks both times and have had no failures.
  • 3 0
 @suspended-flesh: Same, I've bought 4 bikes from them over the last 5 years and they always shipped on time or earlier. Support was good when I had one minor issue and always the best deal after shopping around - and my brand new Jeffsy Core 4 rips!
  • 6 1
 I'm not for big corporations in the mountain biking industry, but also I don't think that large private equity groups invest in bike companies to run them into the ground and end up with a loss on their investment. Something good will come from this.
  • 15 1
 The problem with private equity funds isn’t that they will run the company into the ground (although that is the case sometimes). It’s that they are ultimately just temporary investors. Private equity funds are not indefinite. The people and institutions behind this money (Ardian’s investors) expect a return of capital and profits, not to be holding an interest in a portfolio company forever. So while they may really want the company to succeed, they will always have their eye on a way out. Which means getting YT acquired by some larger company or sporting goods conglomerate (most likely outcome), or taking the company public.
  • 9 4
 @sino428: Exactly. PE groups do not invest to build long lasting companies. They buy them to inflate their value, extract the assets and sell them to another sucker. It's the billionaire's version of pump and dump stocks.

Good luck, YT owners.
  • 7 0
 @fgiraffe: has it crossed your mind that building long lasting companies is fully aligned with extracting maximum value for PE companies?
  • 9 0
 @sino428: this. People need to understand how private equity works. Institutions invest their money in a fund with a fixed lifespan, typical 5-7 years.The investors expect high returns in the 10-15% range over that period. This requires profit maximizing strategies that don't always align with long-term investment like R&D or new factories. Most importantly they want the company valuation to peak just when the fund is expiring so they can flip their equity to a new fund at maximum profit. This leads them to time major activities around the fund dates vs. the market or opportunities. They rarely line up. They also play all sorts of accounting tricks around this time to reduce their overhead and burn when they're trying to get the best looking valuations. Been through this twice as an employee and at best PE overlords leave you alone for a while, but they always come back and wreck whatever you've created in a single all-hands company announcement. If I worked at YT and wasn't a senior executive I'd make sure my resume was polished up.
  • 3 0
 @fgiraffe: they also expect to make decent returns during the fund's lifetime; it's not a pure equity play, so it's actually much worse than you describe.
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx: yes it all depends on who owns and runs the funds. I’ve worked for some that are all about that. They believe in the intrinsic value of their holdings and that providing the best goods or services to the customers is at the heart of those businesses. I’ve also worked for some that just want to maximise the visibility and apparent value of a holding in order to pass it onto someone else. The latter are also usually a house of cards. Which can have dire consequences for the other stakeholders in the business.

If it’s my life work and I’m letting in pe or vc investment, I will be doing significant due diligence on the investors myself. They could be great people to grow the business with or they could just want to have an asset in the active lifestyle market segment.
  • 2 0
 @fgiraffe: IDK that I would always be so cynical about it. I mean you are right in some cases, but not always. The PE companies certainly want to build the brand and increase the value, but the deal can also be good for whatever company acquires it next. Its just not that once a company gets to that point it may no longer resemble the company it is now.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: Word.
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx: In a logical sense it does but PE groups primary focus is to start pulling money out of the asset immediately and artificially inflate the value for resale. They could care less if the company does well. It's the LA Clippers model under Sterling. They would aquire players in the draft and then as soon as they perfomed well, they would sell them to another team. They would constantly lose but because they had a very low overhead they made a good profit.
  • 2 0
 @mexicant: That is the case sometimes, but not all the time. The goal is always to raise the value of the company but there are many good PE managers out there that actually do it the right way by actually improving and growing the business. But at the end of the day these PE firms are only temporary handlers of these businesses, not long term investors.
  • 1 0
 The end game here is likely an IPO, not running up debt and squeezing out the cash through management fees. FOXF is worth $6.5B, that's the benchmark.
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: Not many publicly traded bike companies out there. I'd be shocked if the company went public. Acquisition by a large sports retailer is more likely I'd think. Fox is worth $6.5B but that includes their entire offroad and motorized suspension business as well. Bike components probably make up less than half of that.
  • 1 1
 Everyone hates Yt anyway so why do you guys care? Makes no sense
  • 1 0
 You guys realize that Birkshire Hathaway operates a large portion of their business as a private equity firm right? Yes some PE firms will slash everything, make the financial statements look amazing, and then flip it before the house of cards comes down. The largest and most successful firms however are looking for companies whose net income will be above their target rate of return for the investment to purchase it. These firms are hands off and don't want anything to do with running the company, only receiving their return on investment. I would argue that a bike company isn't a great candidate for something you'd try to flip as there probably isn't a ton of buyers out there. The critical factor then becomes who they allow to run the companies they've purchased.
  • 8 1
 ITT: People who have no idea how private equity works, just like every time a firm buys a stake in a bike brand. You could just copy and paste the comments lol
  • 3 2
 This is why when these same people say “the rich are keeping us down” it’s such BS. No, it’s just that most people are idiots and can’t get their shit together.
  • 7 3
 Terrible news. Just terrible. Head on over to the Capra thread for some excellent customer service and support and QA stories. I got back a mindless YT customer support email just today..... completely useless. And took a week
  • 12 0
 When Cam and Howie were the US distributors, phone calls were answered and after sale support was excellent. Then YT got greedy and took their distribution in house.
  • 2 0
 @carym: "Hello, this is Cameron" That was my first YT purchase. Howie was great.
  • 4 0
 I really like my yt decoy. Its been pretty bomber. Over a million vertical ft on it now. Thought it was time to swap in new pivots, bearings and shock bolts and yt north smerica was very responsive. Got back to me in a few days and had all the puvots a few days after that. Same with the shock bolts. I should recieve those soon. Had a shimano motor problem and they looked after that too after no communication from shimano. I guess the supply chain will only improve now. I hope the yt guys in Cali stay the same and they add a yt canada showroom/distribution hub . Such a fun bike i just want to keep riding it into the future
  • 2 0
 *ftr there was no slop in my pivots just figured i should stay on top of it or be without the fun machine. Well sealed and the old pivots/bearings looked fine. Shock bolts have started to have some play though. Blown away how maintenance free the frame has been
  • 2 0
 I've just passed 400km on my decoy elite in a month and a half. Hauls ass like a V10 on steep rough descents. Happy to hear its holding up well. I've had to re-grease the bottom pivot a few times to shut up a creaking noise (sounds like a dry BB). Such a dialled ride.
  • 4 0
 Isn’t this basically the 90’s all over. So the next 5 years will maybe the best, followed by the sell off…. Or will the ebike motor improvement and battery tech every generation… be enough to keep investors happy….
  • 10 6
 As much as any business owner has the right to do what they want with their business, I do feel that as far as MTB culture goes, this is selling out. Real MTB culture is NOT about money, it's about cool bikes, good times, friends, nature, adrenaline, frustration and plain old just makin' it work. As much as every business needs to be profitable, there is a line that gets crossed in these scenarios that really takes away from the real "make it work" part of MTB culture.
This is a bummer IMHO.
  • 2 0
 I WANT bike companies to make money, I WANT their owners and builder to get rich. The problem is a PE fund is just looking for companies that fit its timing and investment parameters. Best case scenario is that people who love bikes get rich selling bikes to other people who love bikes. This is not the best case scenario.
  • 4 1
 There are many companies out there still run by owners, if that’s what’s important to you then buy from them but it’s time to understand that the bike ‘world’ has changed - it’s not the 80s anymore and as customers we don’t own the business involved - profit isn’t a dirty word and this kind of thing needs to happen as the sport grows, and it will continue to grow.

You can still behave and feel how you want on the trails, I have no idea why this changes anything at all for you there.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: it really changes nothing...it's MTB culture that I feel is affected.
  • 6 1
 @JSW07: Nobody owns ‘MTB culture’ - the people riding the bikes create it so it will change as everything does like music, the clothes we wear etc.

YT being purchased by a larger company has all of about zero to do with you and your mates on the trails, nature, friends etc but the sport is growing, new people get involved - things change.

The bike worlds an odd one really, it’s almost anti business yet we all ride luxury completely non essential goods that require a large amount of effort to produce, go figure…. Back to clunkers?
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: Well said. It's a bit lame to depend on products to feel "cool" anyway.
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: I hear what you are saying but for me, it changes things. Brands have culture that goes with their bikes and for me it plays into my decisions. Take Schwinn for example, once a well known bicycle company that made quality bikes, gets bought by a conglomerate and look at them now, making POS bikes at Canadian Tire.
  • 1 0
 @JSW07: Lots of people won’t feel that way but if you do buy from a smaller brand / business - plenty of them out there.
  • 1 0
 @JSW07: Schwinn drove itself into the ground because it's owner was arrogant and unwilling to accept that instead of setting the trend it needed to follow it. It went bankrupt as a family, privately owned business because it was making crappy bikes and missing the mark. Scwhinn went bankrupt and was sold in 1992 and some passionate people tried to rebuild the brand name with some success through the late 1990s, but ultimately it didn't work out and just became a name that could be licensed by whoever.
  • 1 1
 @cyclotoine: in my mind you have just solidified my argument. BUT, my argument is more about "MTB culture" not as much business. I compare YT selling to PinkBike being sold to Outside (large conglomerate). It's a bummer.
  • 1 1
 Oh please, suddenly everyone’s a Yt fanboy? Wankers
  • 1 1
 @cuban-b: I’m just curious as to how your brain got to the conclusion this had anything to do with liking of being a YT ‘fanboy’?

Wanker.
  • 8 3
 I had a 2018 YT Jeffsy that was rad. Good Value. Good kit. new YT's clearly focused around max profit. Prices are almost double what I paid. Cool but no thank you.....
  • 10 0
 Have you looked around the industry lately? Everything is wayyy up. I paid $2600 for a 2016 Trek Remedy 8 with a Pike and a full GX build. That same bike in a comparable current build is $4100 on their site now.
  • 5 0
 Two chain stays needed in two years for a Capra meant eight months off the bike while YT waited for replacements to arrive. from thier supplier.
  • 4 1
 Well, at least Max Commencal is keeping it real. 20 years later he is still at the helm of Commencal. The true punk rock of mountain bikes. Their home office in Andorra is riding distance from a World Cup track where they like to test. That's why they build strong kick ass bikes. YT trying to punk, but they were always faking it.
  • 5 0
 Next article:

Spawn Cycles Acquired by Blippi, or Cocomelon, or Little Baby Bum (if you have kids, you know).
  • 4 0
 PE investors, regardless of industry, have high return expectations. This will follow a familiar path - you can take that to the bank.
  • 6 0
 Where is @doublecrownaddict
  • 3 0
 Right?
  • 3 0
 @jomacba: Plotting revenge with Waki?
  • 2 0
 Doesnt feel like a YT post without @Doublecrownaddict here to tell us how this acquisition is set to bring back women's rights to the 1950s lol
  • 2 0
 @deepstrut: or that they are all nazis
  • 5 0
 I can't imagine what would happen on here if Transition sold their party in the woods. Probably the End of Days on here.
  • 2 0
 If you advertise your company with "Rider owned" like Transition does you should expect nothing else.
  • 1 0
 They will, my son, they will.......everyone has their price.

"Owned-Rider"
  • 2 0
 My take is that it's probably a sign of the good health of the overall industry, with YT being one of the best-positioned and most-attractive brands for acquisition by a company like this. Even before the bike boom, YT had problems meeting demand - so my top priority as a new owner would be to facilitate growing production significantly. Any changes arising from this will likely only emerge by the time the supply chain issues have settled down anyway.
  • 2 0
 PE plan looks like:
- put prices up by 30% to close the gap vs competition
- launch clothing and accessories brand
- cost reductions not to pass on to customers

Certainly:
- the website will start to work
- delivery will start to work
- somebody will go help Chris at YT customer service
  • 2 0
 Usually we see PEGs 'take interest' because of either poor management or high debt/bankruptcy. An argument could be made they are one in the same. What we'll likely see from this is low-end YT bikes manufactured by Pacific Cycles and sold at Dick's and REI. Customers will pay 'premium' department store prices for mediocre bikes that sell like hotcakes because of the name, making the company and stakeholders a TON of money while simultaneously ostracizing their original customer base. Innovation will be retained for the top-tier riders and their 'real' bikes will remain prohibitively expensive while becoming synonymous with garbage - kind of like what happened to Mongoose.
  • 3 0
 Just got a brand new YT delivered Saturday a week earlier than promised and added bonus didn't have to deal with the morons at the bike shop. Win win. Keep doing what you do YT.
  • 3 0
 Clearly due diligence didn’t include customer feedback? Or maybe it did. Maybe YT realized they better shape up. Going to be interesting.
  • 2 1
 For anyone that thinks its bad to bring in some investors/partners give this podcast a listen with one of the greatest from BMX: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hun1onivIKg He mentions if the business were to be seriously up for sale itd be as a way to gain more money and backing to do more cool stuff with BMX. Theres nothing wrong with gaining financial backing to be a better company as long as you stick to your roots.
  • 4 0
 what exactly does "stick to your BMX roots" mean to a PE fund? Pretty sure their goal is not "do cool stuff".
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: It means theyre investing in the company to help it grow while maintaining the core culture, but scaling the growth of the business where it could'nt prior. Investors can have different intent but if they want a company to grow it very well may be to do "more cool stuff." Keeps the company OG in the eyes of the people and not sell outs. Nobody likes to see a company get outsiders involved and then it changes completely from what it was.
  • 2 1
 YT customer Service Sucks Balls they don’t stock enough replacement frames & rear triangles . Along with they pass all other Parts failures on to the original part supplier. I was out a year ago because the supply wasn’t there I moved onto CANYON & couldn’t be Happier
  • 1 0
 I have seen this coming a long time ago.
They have issues in warranty, supply, and marketing. Those movie like ads are strange, and not everybody understand them and not necesarily attracks customers or build a strong brand image. I guess Ardian will bring some business brand building sense to it. Not that the philosophy behind YT isn´t attractive but they got lost along the path.
Great looking bikes, all the best.
  • 1 0
 Big woop. A mail order bike company sold to a big conglomerate. Who cares about these pirates that take your money and leave you with a bike that has no support network whatsoever. They basically give you a big middle finger behind your back and laugh their way to the bank. They only save you money because there is no backend to your purchase. Rightfully no bike shop should ever help you since you didn’t bring them your business but will bring them your problems. Maybe they’ll buy Canyon as well and they can just both fade away.
  • 2 0
 I used to work for a company that was acquired by a larger one. The former CEO was named Chief "insert random buzzword" Officer only to be made redundant few months later.
  • 1 1
 I am dying here... I remember a few years ago when YT anounced here USA bound and all everyone had to say is " Gamechanger!" "they will dominate!" .... funny how companies change as do their followers,,, sitting back,smiling eating popcorn and enjoying the show!
  • 4 1
 RIP Good value kick-ass bikes.
  • 8 1
 They haven't been 'good value' in a few years.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Some of the Blaze models were decent compared to the competition. Not anymore for sure though.
  • 4 1
 should we expect a Pay Wall?
  • 4 0
 YO ADRIAN
  • 2 3
 Hopefully the first move will be to clean house and get rid of all the talent-less hacks that work at Young Talent. Literally the worst company in the industry: horrible customer service, ability to forecast with the ability of a semi-advanced ape, mediocre engineering.
  • 2 0
 YT will be passed around from buyer to buyer. This is just the start. YT = Your Turn
  • 5 2
 .....aaaand another one.
  • 3 2
 The brand might grow if you had bikes to sell, parts to replace, customer service and value. YT has none of these now.
  • 2 0
 More ebikes will be probably
  • 6 5
 Oh this is getting ridiculous. Bring on clapped bikes, cheap beer, and pedaling with friends. Fuck this corpo shit.
  • 4 5
 so sick of everyone selling out over the past 2 years. seems like all you read about are companies acquiring other companies. we're headed towards the buy-n-large megacorporation quicker than i anticipated.
  • 6 1
 Selling out? You mean, heaven forbid, someone start a business as a vehicle to make money. Doing something you love is cool, but job satisfaction doesn't pay the mortgage.
  • 1 0
 @billg: Businesses SHOULD be profitable. But as far as job satisfaction goes, I have worked for douche bags and I have worked for good ppl and I can tell you as a married Dad of 2, I would (and have) take a pay cut to work for good ppl vs douche bags, which I would call "job satisfaction". That pay cut was worth EVERY penny that I lost. If I hadn't taken that pay cut, my whole family would have suffered, because I took the pay cut, my whole family benefited short term and long term.
In this case, YT sold out to Private Equity Fund. They have every right to do that. Let's see how that goes for them and the MTB industry as a whole in the long run shall we?
  • 2 0
 Every company has a lifecycle and no brand lasts forever
  • 2 0
 Nike, McDonald’s, Coke, Ford, Audi, Amazon…. sure, they are all about to disappear.

We are entering an era where super companies dominate, they literally will last forever - not sure YT is in that category of course.
  • 2 0
 This post has been acquired by ardian. Please SUBSCRIBE to see mo..
  • 2 0
 Put the bikes behind a paywall!!
  • 2 0
 sounds like another 12% price increase to me....piss everywhere
  • 2 0
 Here they go. Losing what ever street cred they had left.
  • 1 0
 Huh. Maybe now they can afford to send me a warranty chainstay that was submitted a year ago…
  • 5 4
 Still sucks.. the XXL is 495 reach wtf build it for tall people 525 reach
  • 2 1
 Watch them make a gravel bike now.
  • 1 1
 Hopefully they bring Yt back to the real world, I mean, the company sucks at the time
  • 1 0
 Are they being acquired or securing investment?
  • 1 0
 what could POSSIBLY go wrong for consumers!!!!
  • 1 0
 Here come the paywall. Oh, never mind.
  • 1 0
 Would anyone recommend buying a YT Jeffsy Im on the fence???
  • 2 0
 Sold out
  • 2 2
 New copra is 504 reach in XXL
  • 1 1
 Not the reason we wanted to dislike yt more but the reason we needed
  • 1 1
 Young Trustafarians
  • 1 1
 Youth Tosser
  • 3 4
 Who cares … buy a bike that isn’t garb and support your LBS
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