Owner of Lapierre, Ghost, Haibike & More Bought in €1.56 Billion Deal

Jan 24, 2022 at 3:52
by James Smurthwaite  

The Accell Group, owner of Lapierre, Ghost, Haibike, Raleigh & more, has been bought in a deal totalling €1.56 billion by a consortium led by the KKR Group.

KKR Group is an American investment firm with involvement in brands as wide ranging as Gibson guitars, Epic Games and Lyft alongside a number of pharmaceutical, energy, financial and property businesses. Accell will not be the first cycling brand in the group's portfolio as it is also an investor in Zwift, following a $450 million funding injection it gave to the brand in September 2020 for a minority stake.

The Consortium will take the Accell Group private after reaching a conditional agreement of €58 per share, representing a total value of approximately €1.56 billion. This price is a premium of 26% over the closing price of Accell's shares on 21 January 2022 and a premium of 21% to the Group’s all-time high closing price of €48.00 per share.

Accell Group will largely remain unchanged for now with CEO Ton Anbeek, CFO Ruben Baldew and CSCO Francesca Gamboni continuing in their roles from the Group's headquarters in Heerenveen, Netherlands. A KKR press release also states that, "the Group’s corporate identity, integrity, values and culture will be maintained" and "all existing rights and benefits of the Group’s employees will be respected and no reduction of the workforce of the Group is envisaged as a direct consequence of the Transaction or completion thereof."

bigquotesToday’s announcement marks an important step for Accell Group. With the Consortium as our new shareholder we will have a financially strong and knowledgeable partner to accelerate the roll-out of our existing strategic roadmap, enhance our global footprint, explore suitable acquisitions and further leverage our scale. As such, the Transaction will enable us to take a leap forward as a group which also brings along enhanced career opportunities for our employees. We continuously strive to be a leader in the bicycle industry by combining smart design and innovative technology with the best value and customer experience. With KKR coming on board as majority shareholder, and with the continued support of Teslin, we would be able to accelerate the execution of our strategic agenda, launch new innovations for green mobility and support to the benefit of people and communities.Ton Anbeek, CEO, Accell Group

The KKR Group says it will be hoping to create a longterm strategy for Accell to "accelerate the growth and roll-out of the Group’s business strategy, including potential acquisitions," as well as "launch new innovations for green mobility and support to the benefit of people and communities."

More info, here.


163 Comments

  • 168 15
 vulture capitalist firms do nothing good. these brands will be rinsed and dumped in the bin.
  • 38 0
 The bit that worries me is paying 26% over odds, during a (albeit supply chain limiting) bubble. Accell's books would look unbelievable for the last 2 years, so there's a chance of a big drop off when things level out. Which when you have shareholders to answer to, could lead to some rash decisions at brands / consumers expense.
  • 27 3
 Agreed and prices will go up and quality will go down.
  • 25 0
 I can see them heading to Sports Direct as we read this
  • 27 12
 Who actually buys these brands? Sounds like KKR got swindled.
  • 9 0
 @chriskneeland: There is significant capital invested to build up the infrastructure to support these brands. If they are under-recognized, it could be easy growth with relatively minimal marketing investment focused appropriately.
  • 27 1
 @chriskneeland: Europeans buy these brands.
  • 2 0
 so just enough to cover the warranty claims .....
  • 20 0
 I would normally agree. These guys bought Gibson guitars a few years ago and basically resurrected a company thats quality was going down year after year. Gibson is making quality guitars again and evolving as a brand. Hope for the sake of Lapi they see the potential to make and sell quality bikes.
  • 14 0
 @iian: there’s a few things here. there is always a premium paid when a public company is acquired. Otherwise why would the shareholders of the company ever agree to it? If I were a shareholder in Accell and my stock was worth 46 euro, I obviously think it’s going to be worth more than that at some point, otherwise I wouldn’t be holding it. So a deal would never get done at market value. A 26% premium is a pretty average number for an acquisition like this.

To your second point, after the acquisition there is no shareholders. KKR only has itself (and it’s investors) to answer too. That could be just as bad but there is at least no day to day stock price and market cap they have to worry about.
  • 13 1
 @chriskneeland: Lapierre is a French brand and ghost is a German one, they are quite big in Europe, they are quite easy to spot at least in France you can see many Lapierre road bikes on tour de france.
  • 2 2
 @chriskneeland: KKR seems to have a long history of overpaying for assets, often with very poor outcomes for the acquired.....
  • 4 2
 @iian: These people are not stupid and don't invest this type of money to lose it. They all know much more than any of us with this deal, so Im sure it make financial sense to them.
  • 13 4
 KKR is no saint, but in their recent history they tend to buy companies and invest in them rather than sell them out.

But don't let those facts interfere with the narrative of the presumption that KKR is an evil corporation that only intends to destroy brands, raise prices, lower quality, an and intentionally do harm to the cycling industry for nefarious purposes.

Hey, whatever happened to the Pinkbike paywall that Pinkbike prognosticators were promising after the Outside buyout?
  • 1 1
 @Three6ty: I'd say you're correct. Accell group has been going largely from strength to strength in recent years, so even a downturn in sales wouldn't be world ending. I should've called it an unlikely concern, but a concern regardless.
  • 2 0
 Accell was already guilty of that
  • 1 1
 @quentos: Wow. I just looked up the Spicy. I didn't even know it was still at thing. Looks about 5 years behind on the geo though. Maybe a capital infusion is what was needed to bring them into the 2020's.
  • 2 4
 @quentos:

Europe is "strong" but willingly sucks Uncle Sam while China is taking it from behind.

It's sickening
  • 4 3
 @chriskneeland: These brands are making very nice Ebikes and they are selling like crazy in Europe.
  • 7 0
 @Antoncor: you have seen a haibike?
  • 2 3
 @sino428: There is no use talking sense about any buyout/other biz combination reported here, people just assume they are aware of the nature of the current mtb revenue jump but KKR isn't and is big bad man who will gut the brand and sell it in walmart etc.

Wait til this guy finds out PE firms take companies private. Not to mention the Revlon duty to get the highest price ie make KKR pay as large a premium as they thought cashflow could support.
  • 1 0
 Best place for them mate lol
  • 4 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Just because the paywall isn't here doesn't mean it isn't coming. Remember when trail forks was free? PB didn't introduce that fee for use for the better part of a year after acquisition. And if i recall correct, the apps creator suggested it would never go behind a paywall at one point.
  • 2 1
 @Dangerhill: That's a bit different though, Gibson is one of the most iconic brands on earth. It's always going to be 100% sound to put money back into that brand.
  • 1 1
 @Dangerhill: Shocking! somebody has some actual knowledge on a topic. I agree with you.
  • 5 0
 I mean if Haibike gets binned I don't think anyone will complain.
  • 2 2
 @Antoncor: the words very nice and e bike shouldn't ever happen in the same sentence.
-weebleswobbles
  • 4 3
 @weebleswobbles: e bikes = happiness
  • 9 4
 @Pinemtn: e bikes = Laziness
  • 5 1
 @chriskneeland: @compositepro: i would guess around 35% of all eBikes sold in Germany are from Haibike, they're one of the market leaders with probably only Cube having a bit more share. Cube and Haibike combined present around 70% of all ebikes sold in the German market. As the German bike and eBike market is one of the biggest worldwide, Haibike is a real big thing.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: European countries have huge domestic markets where several brands dominate a specific country. They get limited share of voice in the ‘Global’ landscape.
  • 1 0
 @way2manyhobbies2keep: there is always a bigger fish, lol.
  • 1 0
 Ever heard of people living the other side of the Atlantic?
  • 1 0
 @iian: yeah, doesnt seem good to me either, but Accell has obviously met their target, and KKR probably think they can take advantage of a growing market. These firms have different skillsets. Accell was probably good at manufacturing and KKR is a giant that can probably throw their weight around to make deals and help grow the brands. This is all speculative but I'm sure they know what they're doing....
  • 3 0
 @Three6ty: I'm guessing maybe you were born after 2008?
  • 1 0
 Amen!!
  • 1 0
 @fssphotography: So I've been told...
  • 1 1
 @codypup: You are off by 40 years.
  • 63 0
 I worked in venture capital and investment management in New York for many years, so I have experience with how private equity guys like KKR work. It seems to me that most of the acquisitions of bicycle companies in the past few years have been by outdoor-focused conglomerates or by private equity firms with a focus on the outdoor sports industry. Those people tend to understand the cyclical nature of the business and they know how much cash they can harvest from the business each year without causing under-investment in the future. Generalist PE firms like KKR have people who think they can understand any industry without difficulty; I've met quite a few of these people when they bought up companies we had stock positions in, and their estimate of their own brilliance is often a wee bit optimistic.

I can imagine that KKR looked at the business, which was a formerly stable cash generator on limited sales growth and they saw the spike in sales in higher-end bikes in 2020 and figured that if they can solve the current supply chain issues, they can continue to see growth like 2020 extending on into the future. Because so much of the product is now produced in Taiwan, brands don't have a lot of capital invested in their own factories; they're mostly designers and marketeers, so the ROIC numbers are high. And customers seem to be tolerating the 7% to 15% price increases in the last year quite well. So at the cursory level that these folks run numbers, the business is very attractive.

But there's real risk that they've overestimated market growth when supply chain issues are solved. I suspect that a lot of the sales of entry-level "real" bikes (not department store specials) were driven by the unavailability of department store bikes. People sucked it up and bought an $1,100 bike for Suzie as a graduation present because they couldn't get a $400 bike at Dick's Sporting Goods, and that's what she really wanted. And people who wanted a $1,500 entry level aluminum bike from their LBS sucked it up and spent $3,000 on a higher end model because they couldn't get any $1,500 bikes.

Also, there are probably many buyers who "pulled sales forward," because they had a bike on their "wish list" for "someday," and when Covid came along and they were spending a lot of time at home, they bought a bike now that they would have bought two or three years hence. So the current boom in sales might be driven mainly by future sales coming in because people didn't want to miss out. And thus, sales in 2023 and beyond are flat.

If demand is lower than expected, look for these guys to take the chainsaw to these brands in the next two years, and the worst scenario coming to pass.
  • 9 1
 Fully agree, bike boom is at its top. They are most likely too late and paid too much. Also it are not exactly the most sexy or innovative brands they acquired. In the end they want to make money, the price you can sell bikes for is limited by competition so the only thing they can do is cut costs which might affect quality in the future.
  • 8 0
 Well put. Thanks for sharing an insider’s perspective. I think in addition a robust secondary market will likely develop soon ready to cannibalize new bike sales when people who sprung for bikes above their pay grade with direct stimulus money realize they weren’t that into it in the first place. At the end of the day, riding still requires a significant amount of work to become proficient, and if you didn’t like that in years past, it’s unlikely that you’ll like it now that you have a more expensive bike. I think Peloton is a bellwether. Everyone’s parents have a dusty old exercise bike in the basement. You can dress that up as a premium product with a nice monitor and a subscription, but after the novelty and the stimulus payments have worn off, it’s still an exercise bike that you don’t want to get on.
  • 5 0
 @Hayek: You raise a good point about the secondary market perking up with used bikes if the new bike market slows. Investing in something like The Pro's Closet might thus be a better idea than investing in a new bike manufacturer. TPC is like the Carvana of used bikes.

Yes, Peloton is seeing sales crash at the moment, for the reasons you cite. While that may be some indication of the outdoor bike market peaking, I'd be cautious about assuming a high correlation between stationary bike sales and outdoor bike sales. That's because the "buyer's journey," the thought process that the customer uses to purchase the product, is likely to be very different for exercise bikes versus "real" bikes. There's some overlap, sure, but it's certainly not 100%. I'd bet that the number of people who thought "I'm either going to buy a Peloton or a gravel bike and I'm not sure which" is quite small versus the number of people who said "I want an exercise bike, I evaluated the different brands, and ended up with a Peloton." It's similar to the likelihood that few people say "I need transportation; I'll consider either an SUV or a Harley Davidson." That just doesn't happen very often.

I agree with the idea that the new bike market will peak, but for different reasons and on a different timetable than the slowdown in stationary exercise bikes, which seems to be happening already.
  • 1 1
 @KidCharlemagne thanks for the insider breakdown.
Do you think these purchases are a downstream effect of the overall gains of the markets?
is it possible these firms had tons of gains from their own stock portfolios in 2020/2021
and needed/decided to reinvest before getting hit with gains taxes, or their stocks dropped?
I'm no expert, just a thought.
  • 5 0
 @blcpdx: A couple of thoughts:

First, public equity firms are private partnerships, so they don't have a stock price that they have to worry about. Unlike mutual funds, they buy 100% of the stock of a publicly traded company, which removes the acquired company's stock from trading on the market. I am not doing investment management anymore, so I don't track this as closely as I did, but I don't think they're taking portfolio companies public much in the last couple years. They typically keep portfolio companies for 5-7 years while they "improve" them (usually involving loading them up with tons of new debt), so they don't have to worry about short-term capital gains.

Second, while tax planning may be a factor, I think the biggest driver driving them to put money to work is the continuing avalanche of money coming into these funds, mostly from large "boring" institutional money managers like insurance companies who invest part of their inflows into higher-risk asset classes like venture capital or private equity. There aren't a lot of of mega-deals ($10 billion-plus) that make sense for private equity given current valuations. So they have to focus on smaller deals ($500 million to $10 billion), and probably a lot more on smaller deals within that range. And they've got to get into industries that they haven't looked at before, so non-US outdoor sports makers are now coming to the fore, where they were ignored in the past.
  • 1 0
 @blcpdx: my equity went into escrow when the Consortium accelerated Accell in the Transaction
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: bro what is your life-coaching fee ILLPAYIT
  • 5 0
 @KidCharlemagne: I totally agree. I think you misunderstood my point or I didn’t articulate it well enough. I wasn’t pointing to overlap between stationary and MTB markers. I’m citing that the problem Peloton faced was behavioral rather than industrial. They over projected their growth based on a truncated sample. What they had was marginally novel and people had more disposable income than ever before with QE and direct stimulus, but that doesn’t overcome the fact that they produce exercise bikes, and no matter how fancy you dress it up, most people just don’t want to work hard. Some do, obviously, but this has been the boom/bust cycle with so many fitness technologies. Investors usually aren’t behavioral scientists and I think they forget that they’re not competing within their industry, they’re competing with human behavior. I’m relating the current boom in MTB to that. The industry can experience a boom — and e-bikes will solve alleviate some of what I’m talking about — but ultimately it’s unlikely to be a major point of long-term inflection because MTB is hard work and becoming proficient takes time. So you’re ultimately fighting against the same reticence to do hard things. Sure our sport is growing, but it’s not going to 3x every year like it has in the last two years. If you base your projections on current growth rates, it’s going to be a disappointing ride because the long-term bottleneck is behavioral rather than industrial.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for elaborating @KidCharlemagne
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I agree with what you said here. The English major in me particularly likes the last sentence...
  • 2 0
 A few quick points (from another long-time finance guy):

While I agree with many of your points, I think the cyclicality of the bike market is pretty well understood. If all of us can wrap our heads around it I think the folks betting the millions have at least asked the question. Especially when there's plenty of data to be had - I'm sure KKR took a look at the other Bike Co's that have been up for sale as of late. And SRAM has issued term loans for years and I bet KKR has seen their #s too. Not that they can't be wrong, but I'm sure they at least have a thesis as to how they're gonna hit their return target and have put some thought into what'd I'd consider a very basic due diligence item.

And to KKR's credit they are reasonably operationally focused, and have on of the larger Ops teams in the space. I spent a bit of time working for a reasonably large manufacturer and I think its safe to say it was not the most efficient or best-run operation - there are probably a lot of improvements they can make that won't destroy quality (which is probably mostly controlled by the Asian manufacturer anyway) and may not even result in layoffs (though I fully recognize that that's become an overused tool these days and I wouldn't put it past them).

Also, @KidCharlemagne KKR is actually public - most of the large PE firms have decided to publicly list over the last 15 years or so. Granted, their LPs (ie the people who directly benefit from their investments) are still the institutional folks you mentioned. As a public shareholder you're investing in KKR itself and are somewhat removed from their actual investment performance.
  • 1 1
 I'm not sure bike market is at its peak.
What about oil price ? They're higher than ever (or than quite a while), will they go down ?
We have supposedly reach peak oil (we don't discover enough anymore to keep growth), or rather plateau oil, so for now the world may enter an era of fluctuation where growth is quickly followed by inflation, then a drought and crisis, then growth and inflation, then drought and crisis, etc...
If so many people may have to turn to bicycle as much as possible.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: good point. If the national eBike tax credit gets passed,
ohhhh boyyy might see even stronger growth.
There are already local programs (.e.g. www.bikesonoma.org/scp_ebike)
Pon noted their desire to be involved with sustainable transit
as part of their reason for expanding into bike world more (re: recent acquisition of Mikes Bikes)
Pon also owns a bunch of mobility share programs (e.g. pon.com/en/activities/automotive/mobility-services-retail/next-urban-mobility )
Politicians get headlines for denying climate change,
but the billionaire moguls know the change is coming,
building self sufficient compounds in Montana
and getting into water scarcity trading early ( futurehuman.medium.com/water-is-being-traded-on-the-stock-market-for-the-first-time-55c02bb616ed )
  • 33 0
 Does that mean Sam Pilgrim gets paid more, or less?
  • 13 1
 or dropped.....?
  • 2 1
 @nojzilla: Cant see it. He must be good value.
  • 36 0
 Imagine a highlight reel of Sam's youtube channel being the opener to the acquisition meeting.
  • 3 0
 @chriskneeland: nothing quite as good as a quality engineer gasping when seeing someone land a rampage backflip
  • 14 0
 @chriskneeland: Corporation-wide daily stand-up "monny-tiiiime" meetings.

On day 1 the new CEO sprays the legs of his mahogany desk silver with a rattlecan and no masking. No masking whatsoever.
  • 3 0
 At least the share price went ... to the sky.
  • 1 0
 Depends on how much he’s being paid @losidan:
  • 1 2
 Everybody! Protect Sam at all costs!

Plot twist: What if Sam is the venture capitalists.
  • 27 1
 Ah man, that is so annoying. I bid 1.55 billion but looks like I was pipped at the post.
  • 3 0
 Ah, you would have overpaid. My strict ceiling for this deal was 1.5 billion flat, any more than that does not seem reasonable…
  • 24 7
 lower tier brands for some big money
  • 6 2
 Imagine spending $1.5B and nobody noticed?
  • 25 4
 Hmm, not sure Lapierre and Haibike could be considered ‘lower tier’? Or is this the perception in the USA where the market share is low?

One thing I imagine this is about is Ebikes, Ebikes, Ebikes - they are the future of the MTB business.
  • 37 3
 @justanotherusername: they aren't very popular in North America. However, there is a market outside of that region. Unfortunately, not everybody realises there is a world outside their country or continent.
  • 2 1
 Lower tier cyclists enthousiasts brands are most people's mid- and even high-tier brands. Hyundais VS Ferraris
  • 9 0
 @Mac1987: Exactly my point - just because it isn’t big in the USA doesn’t mean it isn’t big elsewhere.

@Jo-rides: yea agree, we have a skewed idea of top tier, a $2000 bike to non bike people is very top end indeed and much of it is bullshit and perception anyway, e.g. is a top YT really significantly worse than a top Yeti.
  • 3 0
 I've got the feeling that about one third of the unassisted commuter bikes sold in physical bike shops here is Batavus. If people want a faster commuter, many get a Koga. Both are Accell brands. Low tier? Koga made the bike for the Olympic track cyclists. They did well in Tokyo. Not sure but I thought Redline also was an Accell brand. They used to provide the Olympic BMX bikes though I think it is Meybo now (which I don't think have anything to do with Accell).
  • 3 0
 Accell Group has 3,100 employees generating a 2020 revenue of almost €1.3 billion, a profit of €65 million and a market cap of €907 million. This isn't a small local company. They are also a big European player in e-bikes (of course making them unpopular over here), which is a growth market. Furthermore, that brands like Koga aren't well-known in the US market (especially the MTB market) doesn't mean they are low-tier. Their road bikes are pretty high-end, as well as their city bikes. Lapierre and Haibike aren't non-plus-ultra level, but are also far removed from bargain bin entry-level bikes.
  • 3 2
 Haibike, Lapierre and Ghost are not lower-tier brands.
  • 3 4
 @NatusEstInSuht: if your frame of reference is a top level Santa Cruz, Yeti or S-Works: yes they are. For everyone in the world with a regular job, no trust fund or customers paying for dental repairs, they aren't.
  • 12 1
 Let's hope they take good care of her. BeOne (sports bike brand of Batavus, another Accell brand) was also bought by an American company. They sucked it dry and left it for dead. Bit of a shame for a brand that was once so iconic with athletes like Anneke Beerten, Michael Pascal, Bas de Bever and I think Michael Marosi was on the team too. Let's hope this is not their intention again. There are too many iconic brands in that consortium.
  • 5 5
 God forbid we lose Babboe and Loekie
  • 9 2
 @mi-bike: If we lose Babboe and Loekie, kids can only be transported on the backseat of a car. Non-obese kids will be a thing of the past.
  • 5 0
 There's only one Loekie and that's Loekie the Lion. Babboe is just another a cargo bike brand for transporting kids.
  • 2 2
 @vinay: Agree! Luckily we live in the best cycling country in the world. :-)
  • 8 4
 @delarscuevas: But unluckily ,the American firm who purchased them cannot have these kind of bikes here because the large part of the united states is not fit for cycling infrastructure, cars are too powerful, roads too fast, and cell phones too infront of the driver to see out the dash. Ghost bikes litter the roadways. You say Haibike and I say goodbye bike consortium. But hey someone made some quick cash.
  • 7 4
 @tprojosh: Correct. The Usa have let the car industry design their cities, (and kill public transport companies) and now you're all screwed because you cannot get anywhere without a car . Such a shame...

Will the big infrastructure Bill change any of that?
  • 5 1
 @delarscuevas: Notjustbikes is a youtube channel in which the host hits all the nails on all their heads as to how and why North American cities are such worse places to live than their Western and Central European counterparts.
  • 5 1
 @delarscuevas: It isn't too hard but it takes time to make everything properly connected so that you don't end up being catapulted onto a big car crossing. But if you've got room for cars, you've got room for bikes too. Just sacrifice one car lane, get two bike lanes in return. It is an investment but I think it pays off in the long run. Not just because one of the biggest bike consortiums is now US owned, but also as it helps to reduce congestion. And now with the availability of pedal assist, I think there are more people in the US who could commute by bike than there are now. Even here in The Netherlands, the cities need more and more room for cyclists as the pedal assist-powered delivery companies have discovered the cycle lane too. Plus more and more cities are implementing a max speed for motorized traffic in the cities of 30km/h. Unless you're bringing heavy/big goods or you come from further away, it doesn't make sense to ride a car in the city.
  • 2 0
 @sonuvagun: thanks! :-)
  • 2 0
 @delarscuevas: It will not change anything because habits are what cause real change. As a rider of a surly big fat dummy cargo and I have a custom built trailer to pull the youngin's I hope so much for this to be a reality but alas when its below 60 degrees people want the comfy heater of a Lexus or Range Rover.
  • 2 6
flag TheOriginalTwoTone (Jan 24, 2022 at 7:00) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay: Where do you live? It can't be any American city of size that's for sure. The comment just sacrifice one car lane? In what American city that's looking to expand road ways because of traffic is that possible?
Don't give any BS about the number of cars you take of the road. It's culture plain and simple. America is a car culture. You could have entire vehicle lane devoted to bikes and it'd still be under utilized while causing ore problems.
  • 12 0
 @tprojosh: People can develop habits different from their parents'. Even few years we're seeing a call from a younger generation for a more sustainable future (and yes the current one doesn't seem to mind how much energy Google and Spotify put into providing their services as they run everything over the internet). Why would the new generation want to ride cars in the city just because their parents did so too. There are several videos available on youtube (yes, wasting quite a bit of energy as you watch them) on the Dutch cycling culture. As you can see, it is not like this because it has always been like that. After the second world war, people adopted motorized traffic as much as the other countries. Yet at some point people weren't taking it any longer. The traffic deaths (many of which were children) and obviously the oil crisis wasn't helping either. That pushed the shift back to riding bikes to go places. But recently we're even seeing a new group: couriers on fast pedal assisted cargo bikes. So yeah it may not necessarily require a change of habits but just that new generations and companies make conscious choices rather than rely on habits. But then again part of the choice is made based on how safe and efficient the trip is. You need safe cycle paths where you can ride at a good pace. If you're likely to die or you can't ride fast, you'll choose for a different means of transport. Let alone that you'd let your kids ride there. So yeah, habit is one thing but a good infrastructure is important for the masses.

@TheOriginalTwoTone : I live just north of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Just like many cities here, they're exchanging car lanes for bicycle lanes. As mentioned, there is more traffic on the cycle lanes than ever. They're also creating so called "snelfietsroutes" (fast cycle lanes) which are as wide as a car lane so that people can safely ride fast on their fast e-bikes and road race bikes (or just whoever wants to hurry up). Some other roads become "fietsstraat, auto te gast" (bicycle lane, car is guest) so cars can still ride there but have to adapt their pace to the cyclists. Some other crossings are even intentional chaos, which works as long as there are no cars present. As chaos usually works itself out and people pay better attention. But cars just aren't agile enough to work in chaos.
  • 1 1
 @delarscuevas: I had to commute on my ALLMTN 5 today because my Maverick is powering my house during a morning blackout, and the fam needs to watch How-tos on YT. So glad to be back in the office. America is the greatest country in the galaxy
  • 1 3
 @vinay: Thanks for making my point, a biking culture. Come to DC and tell me how removing a lane of traffic is going to work for us.
  • 2 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: you say that as if the Netherlands' transition from a car based transportation system to a bike centered transportation system was an easy one. I'm sure that there was public outcry and many detractors, but they stuck with their changes and came out the other side better. It takes work.
  • 2 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: This video is well worth watching: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o. It clearly lays out how, after WW2, cars were dominant and how infrastructure was modified to accommodate many more vehicles. After this a reversal took place. If you ever have the chance to visit NL, you'll experience the *current* cycling culture.
  • 1 2
 @Spencermon: No but people have to stop comparing countries with total pop of 17 mil with a country that has cities like NY 8.8 mil.
Please find me all these people that are going to start commuting to work on bikes when it already take 1 hour by car in a city like DC Hot humid summers, cold winters.
I like riding, f*ck riding to work in the summer or winter.
  • 1 1
 @mi-bike: Already had a trip planned then covid hit. Was taking the kids to Amsterdam during the Tulips blooming, quick hop to Belgium and a stop over in Iceland. When thing settle down we're re-booking everything.
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Re "American city that's looking to expand road ways because of traffic", just gonna point out that adding car lanes does not ease traffic/congestion. It has been studied to death at this point and we 100% know it does not work like that. It is actually quite the opposite.
  • 2 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: how about a quick stop in Finland? 6:15: 'Winter is a lazy excuse used by ignorant people to make the discussion of safe road infrastructure go away.' www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhx-26GfCBU
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Not sure whether I actually made your point. I said one generation may be too stubborn and rusty to change, but a newer one will. The call for more sustainability etc is cyclic. As shown in the video linked by @mi-bike, the 70's oil crisis also was a catalyst. Recently, more than a few people (and not just the youth) were calling for a change. And it shouldn't be too hard. If you've got room for cars, you've got room for bikes too. How many bikes can you park in one single car parking slot? The amount of room a car occupies on the road (including safety buffer), how many cyclists can ride there? So basically, how many travelers can flow through a single square meter of road, cyclists compared to motorists? I'm pretty sure if the available room is limited (so in a congested city) using the road for cyclists is more efficient than to use it for cars. A university once did the calculations (pre-Covid, so pre-lockdowns) of what it would cost if all commuters would rely on cars and public transport. It was near impossible and would cost an insane amount of money in logistics already, let alone what building the infrastructure would cost. Compared to that, the transition to better cycling infrastructure is peanuts. Especially considering so much stuff has already been developed and is available. Not just bicycle racks (including the two-level ones where the upper one slides out and turns into a ramp so that most healthy adults can easily get their 30kg bike up there). Also intelligent traffic light systems that takes these different traffic flows into consideration, anticipate when it sees cyclists approach and even gives cyclists more priority when it rains.

Sure on a bike you're exposed to weather but really, how soft have we become? Clothing has become so good, pretty sure you can get clothes that keep you warm and dry. And I think the availability of pedal assist tackles some other complaints like steep hills, longer distances, strong headwinds or too hot weather (so that you can be easy on the pedals and still keep a decent pace).

I could exceed the TL;DR threshold another few times but it basically comes down to this: any big city can be made more cycling-friendly and it will be better/prettier in ever aspect.
  • 1 0
 Take DC as an example, most people that work in it don't live in it.
"the average D.C.-area worker spends 43 minutes getting to and from work. And more than a third travel 45 minutes or more to work every day."
So assume 20mph ebike, sweet I can see people lining up now for 1.5 hour commute each way to work. I can't believe people are still driving cars, what morons.
  • 2 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I highly doubt that DC rush-hour traffic is doing an average of 40mph door-to-door.

Anyway, you don't need to cater to the "average" commuter. If you offer those that live closer (e.g., the one third that travel less than 30 minutes each day) the opportunity to use safe cycling infra that require limited stopping and vehicle interactions (as in that Finnish video), you will convert many to using bicycles on a regular basis.
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: by the way, did you read the original report that these numbers were pulled from? I recommend you do.

Among the findings was the following: the average commute time and distance for single occupant vehicles was 39 minutes and 17.6 miles, respectively. Average speed: 27 miles/hour. That's just pathetic.

Get those cycle paths in place and the ones that live 10-15 miles and closer will switch to (e-)bikes in a heartbeat.
  • 2 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: This reminds me of a book written by a professor of the chair where I studied (Flying Lightness, by Adriaan Beukers). Near the beginning of the book, he claims that people are willing to commute 45 minutes to and from work at most. Less is better of course but 45 minutes is considered acceptable and more than 45 minutes is not. It's been like that over the years and in different cultures. So people not only choose their means of transport based on that, but also where they live and/or work. So what came first, these cars or people choosing to live a 45 minute drive from where they work? A couple of years ago we moved from the center to a town just north of Amsterdam. For me I could still ride my heavy bike to work in about 35 minutes (or less than 30 minutes if I take the lighter Koga bike) but for my girlfriend it turned from 45 minutes to 75 minutes on her unassisted bike, but it became 15 minutes by car because she could take a tunnnel under the canal that isn't open to cyclists. She then got a fast e-bike to take the same detour and could ride it in 45 minutes again and all was good. But back to DC, yeah I can imagine some of these workers now feel locked in having to use their car for their commute as they aren't fast enough on bikes to make it in 45 minutes. Just like they wouldn't get rid of their helicopter if that was what they were using for a 150km 45 minutes commute. They may rethink their choices if the city actually gets their cycling infrastructure running so that at least the cyclists can flow through (as apparently two third lives nearer by). The other solutions I'm seeing here is people who take the train to the city and ride their (or a borrowed) bike from there. Or they park their car at the edge of the city (these so called park and ride spots) and ride their bikes from there into the city. Those who then actually do need to ride their cars into the city, by then there is probably enough room left to actually do so with minimal delay.
  • 14 2
 Another one bites the dust
  • 6 3
 Ghost and Haibike were such hip brands that everyone followed! I would hella notice if they weren’t around anymore
  • 5 2
 @SterlingArcher: Is it? I never really cared for Haibike and I don't know whether they've ever done anything original or special. But at least Ghost has had good exposure with their 4X team and their (womens) XC team which has done very well in recent years. And that has been well documented by Irmo Keizer on this very website.
  • 3 2
 @vinay: I was being sarcastic
  • 3 0
 @SterlingArcher: Ah, that was a whoosh then Wink .
  • 4 1
 @SterlingArcher: you wouldn't. People from outside the US might.
  • 3 0
 @DizzyNinja: *bikes the dust
  • 2 1
 @Mac1987: I was being sarcastic
  • 7 0
 Many commenters seem to miss that the mtb brands are not the main focus of Accell. Daily bikes for shopping and commuting are much bigger. The mtb part of the portfolio is not worth that price.
  • 7 3
 Is there a bigger bike brand that wasn't sold in the 2020s? Looks like those brands switch owners more often than you change your underwear!
  • 7 0
 Trek Bikes is still family owned. I would guess they are around the same size has Accell.
  • 3 0
 Hopefully this helps Haibike out. They couldn't even launch their 2021 bikes in the USA till practically late November last year which in my mind was not a good sign for the curent state of the company.
  • 1 0
 I feel like Haibike's only benefit was being early to the eBike game but now literally everyone is building eBikes now.
  • 2 0
 Ghost I see at the world cup XC races. I always assumed they were a decent sized bike maker but didn't spend money to market and distribute in the US. Lapierre I know from nico but I don't think I've seen more than two in the wild. Haibike is decent player in the ebike space and because of that is probably valued at ghost and Lapierre together.
  • 2 0
 Hmmm I had no idea that cheap xlc bike brand was part of that group. I know it's popular to hate on capitalism but can we spare a little hate for zwift. It's like we took all of the parts that are good about cycling and threw them out of the window. Now just the annoying pedaling bit.
  • 1 0
 XLC or as we say in Germany: Extra Low Components
  • 5 0
 Headline news: Investor's Ghost’ed by unpopular brands.
  • 2 1
 This statement is a complete pile of BS: ""the Group’s corporate identity, integrity, values and culture will be maintained" and "all existing rights and benefits of the Group’s employees will be respected and no reduction of the workforce of the Group is envisaged as a direct consequence of the Transaction or completion thereof."

Long story short, I had worked for a chemical tanker shipping company years ago in CT where KKR eventually bought them out in hopes of a 4 million dollar return over the course of 3 years. They had no business in our industry, seeing as not one of them ever set foot aboard a ship, nor did they have any clue what was involved with a liquid chemical tanker ship. They were not interested in investing into maintaining or repair work on the ships, nor did they acknowledge the commercial leadership and decision making from the CEO and chartering departments (the guys who sealed deals with oil majors, spot market, etc.). Three or four of their accounting nerds would show up two or three times a year to check in on the status of the company, and I remember them being cold and standoffish. The company eventually completely dissolved and sold off all their remaining ships.

What I am trying to say is, sometimes capitalism fails, and you cannot trust large investment firms to know what they're doing.
  • 3 0
 KKR WRECK EVERYTHING they touch. I know as i worked for a company they bought in 2007 and its been ruined ever since. They are terrible
  • 3 2
 26% over the highest ever share price? After 2 years of unsustainable boom times?

I guess it's better than buying NFTs or something, but I think this will look like a bad move in a year or two.
  • 2 2
 I wish I was rich and could buy the couple of factories that make almost all the bike frames and tell all the "brands" that don't make a thing that the gravy train is over and I am selling all bikes direct to bike shops. I guess that would just force them all to build factories of their own and flood the market, prices would drop and it we could put me out of business...

If it worked it would also cut down on the X left this team and Y joined this team articles on PB as I would be the only team. Win win!
  • 1 0
 I sure hope all new bike purchases come with a bottle of boner pills to combat the unavoidable ED that comes with riding any of those brands. JK I kid I kid. Keep fit and have fun out there folks.
  • 1 0
 Accel group is a huge company not only selling some Lapierres. Check out the never ending list of aftermarket parts they sell. They didnt buy the bran for some mtb, they are buying THE group
  • 3 0
 This is going to be... Epic.
  • 3 0
 Now that's a zesty deal...
  • 1 0
 Hope Lapierre returns to North America! My two 2014 and 2016 Lapierre MTBs are still running strong turning heads but need refresh!
  • 3 0
 and the beat goes on...
  • 3 3
 Ah yes, the bike industry is in trouble because of the supply chain issues. Have to raise the prices to not lose money with bikes for sure
  • 1 0
 Something tells me bikes will be even more expensive. More and more and more expensive.
  • 1 2
 Blackrock, has a significant stake in KKR and controls practically everything in the World, including the Press,TV, Fast Food and Big Pharma. Not good for health or our democracy.
  • 3 2
 Congratulations! Always good to see the small independents do well Pimp
  • 1 0
 Nothing about zone5, specialized, and outside?
  • 2 1
 Couldn't care less about any of these brands anyhow
  • 1 0
 Trek or Specialized is next, you'll see.
  • 1 0
 wouldnt this also be diamondback, who owns haibike and raleigh?
  • 1 0
 yep! our shop had to pick up DB since we were running out of our main brands....now what?
  • 1 0
 In the future all bikes are Taco Bell
  • 1 0
 KKR owns Gibson guitars, so that is kind of cool? no?
  • 1 0
 And thats the story how ghost dies. (Lapierre did already)
  • 1 0
 Lapierre already did what?
  • 1 0
 Even so, they won't pay any taxes...
  • 2 2
 Love these stories, list keeps growing of bikes brands NOT to shop for.
  • 1 0
 Yikes
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