Pon Holdings Makes Offer to Buy Accell, Create World's Largest Cycling Company

Apr 11, 2017 at 12:22
by Mike Levy  
Pon Holdings, a Dutch company that already owns Focus, Gazelle, Cervélo, and who bought Santa Cruz in 2015, has made an offer to purchase the Accell Group for a whopping $895 million USD (€845 million). Accell Group is home to Diamondback, Raleigh, Ghost, Winora, Lapierre, and Haibike, so if the marriage between Pon and Accell were to happen, it would create one of the largest, if not the largest, cycling conglomerates in the world. Pon says that the €845 million offer boils down to 32.72 euros per share for the Accell Group, whose shares have gone up nearly 20% since the announcement.

This by no means makes it a done deal, though, as it's required by law for Pon Holdings to report the ''potential voluntary public offer.''


Pon Holdings


From the press release: ''After a detailed assessment of the strategy and performance of Accell Group, Pon Holdings has concluded there is an excellent strategic fit between the bike activities of both companies with benefits for all stakeholders. The combination results in the world’s leading global bicycle company, with headquarters in the Netherlands and with sufficient scale to be the long term winner in the industry.''

According to Reuters, the Accell Group turned a €32 million profit through sales of 1.05 billion in 2016, which adds up to more than a million bikes sold over a twelve month period. Pon Holdings has a history of not messing with a good thing, so I would expect the Dutch company to stay mostly out of the picture and continue to let Accell turn a handy profit, although it's no secret that 2017 hasn't been as kind to the cycling industry as some of the previous years. E-bikes continue to be touted as the cash cow that will prop up sagging returns, however, and battery-powered transportation is already a large part of Pon's portfolio.


156 Comments

  • + 68
 32 million on more than a billion in sales. The margin on bikes is not as lucrative as iPhones...
  • + 76
 Whats a iPhone.
  • + 29
 @properp - it's a phone running on electricitae from the batterae, just like E-bikes
  • + 42
 @WAKIdesigns: oh my God kill it before it breeds
  • + 19
 @properp: I used it to write this message. God is not here today
  • + 11
 I worked in a medical device company, we sold $162 million last quarter and lost $1.2 million. The loss is mainly due to growth, went from two buildings to twelve buildings. The CEO still got paid tens of millions.
  • + 2
 Do you know what profit means?
  • + 95
 @abzillah: 'Merica, where a medical device company can make hundreds of millions, expanding to 10 more buildings, where the CEO gets paid tens of millions, while poor people die because they can't afford the treatment/product.... or a middle class family goes bankrupt and loses their life savings, house, car, etc. because of a medical condition. God bless America!
  • + 0
 This is terrible margin - must have something else going on in the background or perhaps they are cooking their books. I work for an electronic component distributor. Last year we grossed 70 million and netted 24 million.
  • + 20
 @scott-townes: God wants nothing to do with America.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Ha, keep this good shite coming!!!!!
  • + 1
 holy fuck
  • + 11
 @scott-townes: But, but if poor people don't die when they get gravely sick; the, the terrorists win.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Hahahaha! Big Grin
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Funniest comment I've ever read.
  • + 4
 @scott-townes: don't forget the meat and dairy industry, monsanto, fast food industry. is the prosperity gospel still going on in america?
  • + 7
 @scott-townes: God bless the NHS
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: It's also possible that they wrote off a lot of R&D expense or that they have an aggressive depreciation and amortisation policy due to short product life cycle or high value of assets being depreciated.
  • + 3
 @lee-vps-savage: nah man, I'd rather live a life of financial ruin for possibly marginally better treatment. Fox News says the NHS causes terrorism.
  • + 2
 @scott-townes: HaHa, Isis's main target was the NHS as they hated the fact that people could get free plasters and hayfever tablets as and when they needed them, the UK is out of control and needs a firm grip of Islamic State to keep it grounded!
  • + 6
 @abzillah: Capitalism at it's finest. I worked for an American made cell phone company for 6 years. Went from $750 million in sales with $120 million in pure profit with 8-15% quarterly bonuses (At that time I was hourly on the pack lines, that was new bike kinda money!) for 2400 hourly workers in my first year. My 6th year, $2.4 Billion in sales and $395 million in profit with 1700 workers, zero bonuses, zero raises and closed down the US factory, but the CEO took home $15 million bonuses and his wife even received an $11 million bonus.. Because he cut costs by 10%. Oh and cut 1700 american jobs and replaced us with 5000 overseas workers. As a suit, that's probably the holy grail.. No need for a benefits package or competitive pay. In 2001, I was at $16 an hour, my overseas counterpart, $2.15 an hour and no need for insurance or a pension... 'Merica...
  • + 2
 $32M doesn't represent margin on the product, that's what they're left with after ALL other expenses and attempts to lower their taxable income (salaries, overhead of buildings, advertising, marketing, product development, etc, etc, etc). $32M left over after all that is quite healthy. We don't know what their net margin just on the bikes is with these numbers.
  • + 4
 @steelpolish: Net profit doesn't really say much about the margins on their bikes. Maybe they had to write off assets, maybe they invested heavily, all sorts of things are possible. To get a better picture of their margins you'd have to look at their operational profit, i.e. ebitda or ebit.
  • + 1
 next thing in the news is , Pon buys trek, specialized, and giant
  • + 1
 @akerson707: agreed on that type of volume I would typically expect it to be 3-4% of turnover, so pretty much bang on
  • + 1
 Mtn bike and road cycling is the next ski and snowboard industry. The bust years are a coming.
  • + 28
 Nearly $900M to purchase a company that nets $30M/year in profit? Somehow I don't expect Pon Holdings to wait nearly 30 years for the investment to break even. Accel is going to get split up/sold off, and/or some business models within Accel are going to change.
  • + 39
 Pon already owns the Kalkhoff brand, which is part of Derby Cycles - a brand that is doing huge business for commuter e-bikes (with the higher-end ones using Bosch drive units). Haibike is sort of the pioneer for performance e-bikes, also using Bosch drive units. In Europe, growth is happening mostly on the e-bike front - and while here in the US the 'performance' e-bike thing isn't going to happen all that soon (because of access issues), the commuter thing is definitely on its way. Plus there's a whole category of e-bike recreation that's going nuts right now (there now is an e-bike store in Hood River, OR of all places, aiming at selling e-bikes to people who want to do more bike commuting even in hilly areas, but more importantly at that segment of the population for whom the e-assist makes touring by bike on a nice day a pleasurable thing, as opposed to a workout beyond their comfort level. Think people with disposable income, in their 50s-70s, who are going to be taking their (owned or rented) e-bikes from winery to cafe to brewery to gallery while recreating in places like Hood River over the weekend.

My folks in Germany really got into their e-bikes about ten years ago when it really started taking off there. Instead of going for little hour rides, they'd be touring the countryside for a whole day, doing that cafe to gallery to restaurant to whatever thing, just meandering around on the (plentiful) C roads and designated bike paths. And they weren't alone - the area where my sister lives (super-rural Northern Germany) now has shit-tons of little cafes and galleries and artisan dairies and restaurants and whatnot.

And friends in central Germany tell me that 'performance' e-bikes, while marketed as though they were action sports items, are getting snapped up by the older demographic as well, they just take them into the woods instead. Remember, to someone who's not really a mountain biker, the rush you get out of what most of us would consider seriously tame trails is still pretty significant - and the motor allows them to get up the hills.

I can't help but think, though, that there's a bit of empire-building involved here, too - it's hard to see, even with all that growth in that market, how you can get anywhere near enough 'synergy' out of the equation to really justify this level of investment. Because you're right - the margins are tiny.
  • + 28
 Companies are typically valued on cash flow and EBITDA (not net income) - in this case Accell had 71 million euro in EBITDA in 2016 with consensus estimates of 83 million in 2017 and 90 million in 2018. It looks like Accell would be offering approximately 10x 2017 EBITDA which is low for similar companies.

Add in the idea that Pon may be able to save a few million per year through some small tweaks and the deal improves. No need to do anything drastic like break it up, sell anything, etc., unless something in the portfolio is a dog.
  • + 12
 @g-42: "who are going to be taking their (owned or rented) e-bikes from winery to cafe to brewery to gallery while recreating in places like Hood River over the weekend" that actually sounds really fun, no joke! You just sold me on ebikes!
  • + 6
 Someone forgot to tell them it's bike companies, there's more money in a chain of dermatologic clinics in Hungary than in the whole bike industry...
  • + 4
 @hamncheez: 10x seems high. I've always heard 5-7x???
  • + 17
 @g-42: Over here in The Netherlands, most people don't buy their e-bike for recreation. It is like a car. Sure you'll use it for recreative trips too if you have it anyway. But the main reason is to get to and from work in time. That your travel time is predictable, even with a strong headwind. If it is for recreation, people don't mind breaking a sweat. But if you're on your way to work or are pretty knackered after work and have to make it home in time for dinner, it is nice to have some pedal assist. I personally don't have pedal assist, because I already travel between 25 and 30km/h to and from work (on a Koga, from Accell indeed). But everyone I know who's got a bike with pedal assist primarily uses it for work or for taking the kids around. But really, that perception that bicycles are primarily for recreation comes from looking at the situation here through North American glasses.
  • + 10
 @vinay: Good point. With a few exceptions, the USA has a long way to go before many see the bicycle as a viable form of everyday transportation. A long way. Not in my lifetime way.
  • + 2
 @vinay: how do you use it for commuting when it rains/snows 2/3 of the year? here in the US, I take the train plus my bike during the summer, but its suicide when the roads are icy
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: tell that to Rob Roskopp
  • + 13
 @meathooker: 10x?! 5-7x?! I just converted to a 1x. Will someone please make up their mind?!
  • + 3
 @endlessblockades: There are two things, infrastructure/terrain and culture. The Netherlands are relatively flat and the country is small. Even though this is not great for mountainbiking (we're only relatively good at BMX race) it makes commuting by (traditional) bikes quite accessible. When I'm abroad I realize that these hills and distances are what puts people off commuting by bike. Even a single tough climb on your commute could be a deal breaker. I think that's where e-bikes could help. People may not need assistance during their full ride, but they might appreciate some assistance in places. I read somewhere only 8% of e-bikes built here are for domestic use, the rest is for export. These numbers are a bit skewed of course because European distribution for for instance Cannondale and Specialized is also from The Netherlands. Still, there is a reason that more hilly countries require pedal assist whereas over here most people are fine without. But that is a relatively new development. Cycling here has been a common means of transport for a much longer while. Hence cycling is also an integral element in the infrastructure. Go to openstreetmap.org, open the cycling layer and look at The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to get an idea. The small numbers (if you zoom in real close) are nodes for navigation, more used for recreation indeed. A safe and comprehensive cycling infrastructure is essential for participation by kids and elderly alike. In some countries cyclists have to ride near motorists (making it unsafe for cyclists), in other countries cyclists are designated to the sidewalk amidst the pedestrians (making it unsafe for pedestrians and losing potential because you can't go fast). In contrast, we're getting more "high speed cyclepaths" over here. Very wide, smooth cyclepaths with few crossings. Because the government recognizes that there is no way you can create enough asphalt for motorist to avoid congestion, but you can for cyclists on longer commutes (typically e-bikes, recumbents, race-bikes etc but it is accessible for all cyclists) to reach their full potential.

So yeah, cycling as a means of transport may not be that big in the US but I expect that the pedal assist may take away some of that. Then you'll need the infrastructure and that'll take time. But people responsible for other countries' infrastructures are actually dropping by for some inspiration. At the end of the day it is more sustainable in many ways. I read somewhere that a large city here had someone figure out that if no one would ride a bike and everyone would have to rely on cars and public transport, it'd cost the city 200million (or billion, I don't know exactly) euros. Not sure if that's annually or once, but either way it is a huge sum of money. It is well worth investing in infrastructure.
  • + 3
 @hamncheez: Oh yeah, as I mentioned in my other post, the conditions are fine here for cycling. Rain is no problem obviously, ice is. Studded tyres may help (not to be confused with spiked, Nokian and Schwalbe have them). There is a limit to what a better infrastructure can do for you. My main response was against the perception that people buy e-bikes for recreation. This simply is not the case.
  • + 1
 @meathooker: It depends on the industry. Merida trades at 21.7x and Giant trades at 13.4x (today).
  • + 3
 @hamncheez: depends if you can catch a DUI for riding an e-bike after a few beers/glasses of wine
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I think most people will miss the fact that your theoretical dermatologic clinic is probably a shell company for offshore money laundering.
  • + 2
 @vinayTrue that , im one of those odd North American souls actually commuting full time by bicycle.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: Naaahh just get spiked tires from Nokian, they turn ice sheets into a hard packed playground. Honestly, I commute all winter long and I can't wait till the trails get icy so I can put my spikes on and ride down ice covered rock stairs! It's a blast really.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: when there's ice, spikes. If you haven't yet, go out and ride around on a frozen lake on spike tires. The spike tires go on my commuter beginning of winter and come off before Easter. Even on a day where it rains, it's unusual for it to rain 12 hours straight. Checking weather radar and proper gear is all you need. Only problem is the cars don't have spikes . . .
  • + 2
 If you check out their year report, you will see they've got over €700m in assets. Not everything is as straight forward as reading turnover/profit.
  • + 1
 @DirtyRider13: i think they also miss the fact that dermatologic clinic charges more for monthly treatment of acne than Spec for a set of S-Works Enduros. Then they get more in "products" like "specialistic creams" than Spesh gets for kits and helmets. Plastic Surgeries, Nutritionists... Someone mentioned Rob Roskopp, yea fkng right, i bet he has less money than the owner of the dentist clinic he visits. Again nothing wrong with dentists, but my buddy (IT, databases and sht) invested in starting up a dentist "clinic", got an apartment, changed it into a "clinic", hired 3 dentists, his wife was a secretary (she managed a dentist clinic before). Earned lots in 4 years. Sold sht. Paid mortgage, paid all loans on cars, sold house, bought a big house, better cars, including fkng nice BMW5 with all bells and whistles, costing more than some stupid SUV. Not bad for 4 years isn't it? yes he's fkng smart, he was always the smartest dude in school, he has entreprenural spirit and balls to risk, put his savings on the line - however you call it.

Try that with a fkng bike company, especially making MT fkng Bs - good fkng luck.
  • + 2
 @timlake: As a student about a decade ago, I had to do a course business economics. I recall some of the terms you mention there but I pretty much forgot what it is about Wink . Funnily enough, as a case I chose the Accell group. When LaPierre signed Nicolas Vouilloz I thought they were getting massive (as Nico is a legend, after all). I interviewed the person from Accell and apparently it wasn't that much of a deal. Of course for us as mountainbikers it is, but really these sport type bicycles are nice for a bit of exposure but for not the big money. I've got a Batavus and a Koga, my girlfriend rides a Batavus too and both daughters ride Loekie. All Accell brands. My neighbour rides Gazelle (PON). See, if you pick some random quality bikes here in the area, most of them are from either Accell or PON. Sure my girlfriend also rides a Qwic, one neighbour rides a VanMoof and the other one has an Urban Arrow (all independent Amsterdam brands) so there is still an industry beyond the big holdings. But really, the industry for commuting is so much bigger than for sports. Compare it to cars. Dedicated sports cars are nice for exposure, but a niche compared to the regular utility vehicles. I think Bosch isn't even that interested in making motors for mountainbikes. Sure if Cube wants them, they'll deliver. But they're not going to put any effort in shortening the chain stay. That's a challenge for Cube, not something Bosch is going to bother with.

My knowledge about dentists and dermatologic clinic charges is limited. Never knew I was going to learn about this on PB.
  • + 1
 @dave-f @fattyheadshok @vinay All you spiked tires proponents, can you link me to a road bike tire with spikes?

Its more than jus the ice on the shoulder of the road. Its the road salt that ruins your bike. The slush. The dangerous, stupid, terrible car drivers in snow. I can't show up to work covered in salt, and mud, soaking wet.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: Oh Cheezus - you just wear rain clothing... I come straight to meetings with clients when it rains as fk and sludge is all over the place. I just take my rain clothes off, leave them in the lobby and I'm all serious, handsome and successful. The funniest bit in Europe is that, the shittier the weather the more bikers in that region. Netherlands, Danmark, Sweden, fkng piss of a weather, pissing rain, sludge in winter, windy as fck - despite the best public traffic out there - result? Millions of people cycling to work. Italy, France, Spain? naaaaah... piaggio, and when I get kids I buy a SUV - CIAO! Adieu! Bicaux I caun! What Ayu goin too do you jugementalle scandinaviaun? Invade? Viva la Liberte!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: the culture is different here in the land of Trump
  • + 4
 @hamncheez: ues, I know. The commies ride bicycles trying to hijack the right to drive an unnecessarily large and heavy vehicle, the symbol of freedom... excuse me, the government is subsidizing gasoline, a bit socialist move isn't it? Otherwise you would not be able to fkng afford driving V12 to buy frozen pizza and coke for the supper... I take my kids to the daycare with Charriot carrier, on the way to work. While show offs who live closer than me come in their stupid SUVs. There is a guy leaving a kid in a 10yr old Bentley... woooow impressed me now. How about I pop a wheelie and hear your kid go wooooow. If I want a show off car I rent it out, and its hundreds of times cheaper than owning one. So yea we have the "prestige building car culture" here as well. But in most cases clients are impressed with me cycling in bad weather rather than seeing me as a peasant
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Government does subsidize big oil at the extraction end, but then more than makes up for it in taxes on the final product. Gas is cheap here because the US is the largest producer of gasoline in the world. Gas right now is under $2.25 a gallon, or $0.59/liter.
  • + 0
 @hamncheez: awwwww i commute in rain and snow and ice. Avoid shitty drivers. All year long.
Cars make you soft.
Man up and ride your bike.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/studded

Mind you these are not 700x23 road race tyres. We ride fatter tyres for our daily commute. Somewhere between 1 5/8" and 2" wide.

Agreed for proper safe cycling for everyone (kids and elderly alike) you need proper infrastructure. Check the internet for pictures of Dutch bicycle lanes to get an idea of what we have here. Now don't come here looking for proper DH race tracks Wink . Now, it is an investment but then again what you often see is that countries invest a lot in another lane of tarmac and dedicate it to the motorists. How long will that be sufficient?
  • + 3
 @vinay: One of the reasons why most of the US doesn't have good cycling infrastructure is because its much larger and more spread out than Europe. My commute is 40 miles (65km) each way, and thats not considered super far. The train station is 8 miles from my house, and its a mix of rural and urban. Most of America is empty, wide open spaces.
  • + 0
 @g-42: That sounds really boring.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: Oh yeah, I absolutely get that. The reason we have it here is because cities are old and don't have the capacity for loads of motorized traffic. And distances between towns are quite doable as well. My commute to work is 11km, my girlfriend works in different locations but no further than 20km from home. Hence obviously why pedal assist up to 25km (without the hassle that comes with these high speed pedelecs) is good enough for most people. In a book written by a professor of mine (Flying Lightness by Adriaan Beukers, nice read even for those not too much into technology) I read that people typically accept a commute up to 45 minutes as nice and doable. So for many people here living up to 15km from home, a regular e-bike is just fine. I think you're only getting the government on your side if either motorized traffic causes too many problems (pollution, congestion, danger...) or they just love cycling. So if that's simply not the case over there, you don't have luck on your side. Economy doesn't help either. The US economy thrives on oil, the Dutch economy benefits from bicycle sales.
  • + 2
 @dirtspanker: To me as well - but for folks who are getting on in age, it's a nice alternative to the Sunday walk they'd otherwise take.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it's interesting that. If a smaller company could come along with a cool video, similar product and pinch just 1% of that market they'd have enough turnover to make a living and be happy. They don't innovate, they just copy. They don't add to, they just dilute. This is what's happening in cycling.

In medicine the patents (as you point out) are worth multi millions and that can't happen. In cycling it's happening every day. Non specific advertorials about the latest cool suspension platform (see the Polygon marketing article above) make people coo over the latest percieved cool new thing. See the comments below - there are people who read the journalists comments and believe it implicitly, stating they'll rush out and buy one....

Madness.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: but they don't rush out and buy one. It's just recreational awe and rooting for the small guys. If companies were to trust commenters on Pinkbike, DVO would be rich beyond belief. People were like yeaaaaaaaa! Show Rock Shox how it's done! I buy one! Support DVO! - here's our pricing 2300$ - Baaaaaa, you sell outs, you're like everyone else, I buy Rockshox! When SRAM released XX1 - BOOOOOO!!!! now almost everyone's on one or another version of it. Quietly adopted... If a company bases i'ts success on online response to the prototype - it's doomed Big Grin
  • + 1
 @vinay: Preach it! I hate getting all suited up in the morning just to show up in the office with sweat spots in the armpits. That's why I hardly ever suit up because there no way I'm buying an e-bike.
  • + 0
 @MegaMonkey: change of clothes and shower if it really gets thaaat bad... not many hills to cross in Netherlands to get too sweaty. Not a Californian climate either. Not to mention than hundreds of thousands of Europeans cycle to / from work everyday. They can't all be vegan bisexual transgender hippies...
  • + 0
 @bvd453:

Rob's new ocean front mansion done?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: or can they?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You missed the joke but that's okay, it wasn't very good.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Love the line about the govt. subsidizing the petrol. You nailed it! Most of my countrymen have no idea that's what's going on. They all go on and on and on about the glory of free market, and how bad the lazy people on public assistance are taking all the tax money from the hard working american. Meanwhile having no idea that our Govt. spends upwards of 10 times subsidizing the oil industry than it does on social programs. But yeah I wish more people were on bikes commuting to work. Most people here simply think I'm a complete weirdo for doing it. I really don't fit in this country at all sadly.
  • + 21
 Why are there no Dutch people in the forum? They make money instead of talking shit.
  • + 8
 I'm Dutch. Been talking a lot on the forum. If that was shit, then that was a lot of shit Smile .
  • + 1
 : ))
  • + 20
 Sweet. I heard they're also going to coronate Bernie Sanders as CEO, so we can all have free bicycles.
  • + 6
 Yeah! Ecomoniks is EASY! Those rich jerks just don't care about the people. They're mean for not giving their hard earned money to me for new bike parts.
  • + 15
 Is this the cycling industry's Luxottica? Purchases like this will never benefit the consumer.
  • - 4
flag dthomp325 (Apr 11, 2017 at 21:11) (Below Threshold)
 How is Luxottica bad for consumers? There's a million different sizes, styles, and price points of glasses and sun glasses. Out of all the industries to complain about, I don't think I've ever had a problem with eyewear.
  • + 8
 Sadly, this might be the formation of the major bike monopoly company. If this were to go through, it's hard to tell where the prices for bikes will go.
  • + 9
 No worries. The proliferation of d2c will usher in the prophesied bikocalypse. Then an era of peace led by the superpowers YT, Canyon, and Commencal will begin.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: Wow. Do you honestly believe that IF that came true, the companies mentioned would be offering the same lose leading deals they do now? Do you think they price that way for the consumers benefit, or because that's what their price needs to be to persuade buyers to purchase their brand?
  • + 3
 @Bustacrimes: Their prices are simply more realistic - not loss-leaders. I may jump around from YT-Commencal-YT-Canyon-YT but I'm sticking with d2c. They are simply keeping more of the profits for themselves by way of their sales model.
  • + 0
 @endlessblockades: Their prices are loss leaders. Like Whyte five years ago....nothing brand and had run themselves into a hole. Relaunch with admittedly better bikes, but the catch is the price and spec for that money. But now, five years on, the spec goes down and the price goes up cause they're getting brilliant reviews and people who get their buying advice from people like you on forums think they're good.

Rubbish. Like all the other companies who have slipped from the top because they mismanaged themselves, the only way to make money long term is make small margins short term and rebuild your rep. It's a simple business model seen time and time again. Their fooling you....they'll rape you like all big business when they are at the top. And they'll be your best mate when they're nothing and in danger of going out of business.

This is business. Not a charity making sure you get a great bike for the price. Defending a global multinational and suggesting they have your back is as comical as it sounds.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes:

Busta - these guys are large (YT/Com/Cany) and are going for volume. If they start to ratchet up prices, then their market will consider going back to the established brands thru bike shops. The only way I see that they can raise prices is if the big boys creep their prices even higher, which I don't see happening.

I'm not sure about your Whyte example, though. It's so hard to break into a new geographic market against the big players, if you're not offering better pricing (and equally as good bikes) then who's gonna buy? If you're saying that Whyte's pricing is now approaching that of traditional distribution brands, even if that's so, that doesn't mean that the other d2c brands will do the same.

These guys are making money. Probably higher margins than a traditional distribution model where a shop marks up a bike ~35%, why would they raise prices and mess that up?
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: I decide who rapes me on non-essential purchases, not the other way around. Your only vote is your dollar.
  • + 7
 Pass me another InBev, I need to get low.
  • + 3
 Hahah they only come in 48 pack heavy investor packs
  • + 1
 InBev, Ha... My wife bought a 6 pack of Blue Moon, she wanted a cold one after our ride. Even bought an orange to make her pint glass fancy. She took one sip and proclaimed,"This isn't blue moon!". Yeah, it wasn't. I'm thinking it was an InBev of the Miller variety, it's made in Boulder, maybe it was Coors.. Likely someone caught it at the factory and said,"If we report it, we might lose sales.... AH HAHAHAHA!! No we won't!!!". 5 out of 6 bottles were not Blue Moon, no orange profile at all in taste. Didn't even have the same structure.
  • + 1
 @oldschool43: Word. Even if it was a Blue Moon, it's still a fake MillerCoors 'craft beer' like shock top. Not to get all beer snobby (I'll power gallons of Bud, Coors, 25oz cans of whatever from the corner store and pee on your bush), but it's better to support brewers like Oskar Blues who are still real and support DH racing, etc. You can get it at most supermarkets around here, too. Got a real Happy Birthday stamp on the bottom too. On payday I'll drink Dale's and Lil Yellas, but when money is tight, hide your swill cuz I'm gunnin for it.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: It's the only beer my wife will drink.. I usually drink Shiner Bock or New Glarus Spotted Cow. Sometimes Mai Bock or Black Bavarian from Sprecher (the root beer people, it was a beer brewery first). I know Shiner is little, but my brother informed me that it's owned by a PNW family, whom is a sister company of Miller.. Oh well. However, Sprecher is an actual micro brewery in Milwaukee, owned by one person operating in one small building, but the beer is available in 39 states. New Glarus is also a micro brewery owned by a husband and wife and is only available in Wisconsin and they actively go after "poachers" selling it out of state, it's everywhere here which is nice. NG is good stuff! And they have something for everyone.

As for Miller, it makes me sick! Like 4 beers, barfing my brains out. I can drink Bud by the case, haven't drank a case in one sitting since highschool, like 30 years ago, but I can at least drink it. Well, haven't had one in years, so who knows..
  • + 1
 This is different news from what I read earlier. Yesterday they only wanted to buy Sparta and Batavus from Accell. Indeed today I noticed they wanted entire Accell, which is massive. I'm not too concerned. Accell didn't never did any harm to their bicycle brands and I think they all retained their identity. It was when B1 (daughter of Batavus, with quite some legendary athletes back in the day) became part of an American company that it got destroyed (and PeteSpeed got sold off to Hayes to do nothing with, damn). I wasn't aware of Pon being involved with bicycles until I read that they bought Santa Cruz bicycles. I think SC is still doing fine, unless Pon has something to do with the demise of their legendary single pivot designs. Pon is the VW distributor over here in The Netherlands (Ben Pon designed the T1 van) so maybe they thought they'd be better off selling bicycles than dealing with that emission fraud mess VW has caused.

Either way, Accell has a very complete line of bicycle brands and quite a few of them (like Sparta) have been developing pedal support for a long time. Unlike North Americans seem to believe, almost all these bicycles with pedal support are just for people to get to work and back. Only very recently and only very few mountainbikes with pedal support are being developed (notably by Haibike and Lapierre, both from Accell). But that's a tiny fraction of mountainbikes being built and a tiny fraction of e-bikes as well. The Pon bicycle brands are newer to the e-bike game, so I expect that's what they want Accell for. This doesn't suddenly mean you'll see Santa Cruz mountainbikes with pedal support. It may just mean that you'll see XLC components bolted to your Santa Cruz bikes, that's all.
  • + 1
 Nothing to see here. Motorised company buying non motorised brands. Leaving a shrinking and maxed out market to exploit another market. Dividends to pay to share holders. Growth to be achieved. Money to be made. Just keep believing massive multi nationals are not run for their benefit but the consumers. Drink the kool aid and don't ask questions or scratch beneath the surface.
  • + 1
 I wonder if they leave the brands alone as they did SC, I think the money-making E-Bike industry will have to put up a strong argument to get me convinced on a commuter. Also questioning the Lapierre mix, alongside a lot of the big-toy manufacturers. I hope this is just a shareholding position.
  • + 1
 Who said they will leave sc alone. I bet they are getting g the frame made in the same place as their other brands for less.
  • + 0
 @chrismac70: That is kinda true. Aluminum is not made differently and the C level frames are weird.
  • + 1
 Ask a UK SC dealer if the brands "been left alone". Not what I am hearing. Pon are looking for more dealers to sell more bikes cause all they care about is growing their investment. Anything else would be negligent to their shareholders. Do Pon care what SC dealers think...not what I am hearing.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: SC has never been a good brand to carry. The customers that push bikes out of the shop are either doing the cheapest or most expensive builds they offer. Here in the states very few additional dealers have popped up but the innovation is somewhat continuous
  • + 4
 April - good month bad month?
  • + 4
 All y'all typing essays. Just ride an Intense.
  • + 4
 I did. It broke. Next.
  • + 4
 I had a hamburger for lunch
  • + 3
 First Cervelo, then Santa Cruz, now E-bikes. This could get interesting...
  • + 1
 If interesting is the devil in disguise buying a kool aid brand and the majority of people being too thick to understand the motivations....then yeah, highly interesting.
  • + 4
 fuck monopoly
  • + 1
 Agreed! This will not benefit us consumers.
  • + 1
 Not a monopoly.
  • + 4
 That's what i say when i land on boardwalk
  • + 1
 Never even heard of Pon Holdings.
And I am Dutch.

One of those postbox companies only here to avoid taxes?
  • + 3
 This is ignorance! I'm Dutch too and about anybody in The Netherlands knows Pon is one of the richest families here. From experience I know they are very professional and do invest to build real businesses. No short term financial hacks. By developing long term strategies they consistently invest in very specific industries through this Pon Holdings. Definitly not a postbox company taking advantage of our low taxes! They just don't show off and go about doing their business very well. So, many comments you might want to take with a pinch of salt except for the fact that we are the Low Countries and it takes a drive into Germany to do some serious shredding!
  • + 1
 @AOshred: Oh didn't know that, sounds good.
Still they avoid taxes by being a huge company in the Netherlands.
Thanks to our government...
  • + 1
 The holding behind it is something you may not see as a customer. First I didn't know which brands belonged to Accell either until I did some research. But you may definitely know some stuff Pon does. First of all, Ben Pon designed the VW T1 van. So in a way he was behind the very start of Specialized bicycles Wink . Pon continues to be the distributor for VW cars here. You sure know Gazelle. Admittedly, I wasn't aware of the Pon Holding until they bought Santa Cruz bicycles.
  • + 2
 @AOshred: they are here to make money. They aren't a cycling heritage company and there not an innovation company. They're a "me too" bunch diluting sales and skimming money out of brand s they didn't build

They stand for nothing but making money. How is that ever a good thing?
  • + 0
 sitting on there arse creaming off money from other peoples efforts. only buy from cube canyon type company's wont give my cash to blood sucking holding company's
  • + 2
 Whoa! Hold on for a second..

Diamondback is still making bikes?!
  • + 0
 they lost my attention at knuckebox
  • + 1
 Nope, they just make really cool videos about bikes... but don't actually sell any of them.
  • + 2
 Think how many bikes that much money could buy...
  • + 9
 Or dogfood.
  • + 17
 Evidently is will buy all the Diamondback, Raleigh, Ghost, Winora, Lapierre, and Haibikes... .
  • + 1
 @IamTheDogEzra: worldtours feed all the hungry dogs
  • + 3
 Probably something along the lines of

"adds up to more than a million bikes sold over a twelve month period"
  • + 1
 @onemind123: i don't know why you would want to buy that many Raleigh's, ghosts or haibikes etc...
  • + 1
 @piersgritten: well in Canada it's probably the clearance of all the MEC ghost stock now that they've gone full-on intense. I walked in there to buy an inner tube and was met with a wall of $6K+ neon plastic bikes...
  • + 1
 @plyawn: the plastic bikes will be 50% off in the summer time. That when I bought my Ridley road bike. Only fools buy bikes at full retail at MEC.
  • - 1
 @onemind123: nice collection of shite brands there. Every one of them guilty of presiding over their own demise.
  • + 2
 They made $32 per bike ...
  • + 1
 just learnt some serious economics here on this thread. respect.
  • + 1
 there was me thinking lapierre was still a family business.... bollocks..
  • + 1
 SO MANY SMART BIZ PEOPLE HERE
  • - 3
 Well boys and girls, now you know why this shit's so expensive. If this isn't an indication that margins are already astronomical, then Accel must have plans to make them even higher in order to be profitable. Nuckin Futs!
  • + 18
 Margins astronomical? Accell made 32 million profit on revenue of over a billion dollars. Margins in the bike industry suck.
  • + 1
 @scissors888: yep. And only the big companies can compete with these slim margins. It's a tactic to squeeze the smaller companies out of the market. They did it to car companies and they'll do it to bikes if people keep buying these brands and putting money in their pockets.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: As consumers we also like to accuse the smaller companies of greed when they try and eek out a little profit to stay afloat. Were a fickle bunch, we all want the best and we dont want to pay for it.
  • + 2
 @scissors888: I work for "the smaller company" and I hear you loud and clear Smile
  • - 1
 Oh dang Eek
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