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Accell Group reports flat sales in first quarter, appoints interim CEO, considers Pon offer

Published April 25, 2017

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (BRAIN) —  Accell Group, which planned to hold its annual meeting of shareholders on Tuesday, said its sales in the first months of 2017 were at the same level as last year.  The company also appointed an interim CEO to replace longtime leader René Takens, who resigned following the meeting as planned. The interim CEO is Hielke Sybesma, Accell's CFO.

The company said it is considering a nonbinding proposal from Pon Holdings to purchase Accell's shares, which would create the world's largest bike company. "The Supervisory Board and Executive Board, together with their financial and legal advisers, are carefully reviewing all aspects of Pon Holdings' nonbinding proposal. Accell Group will take into account the interests of all stakeholders. There can be no assurance any transaction will result from this proposal and the ongoing discussions. Further announcements will be made if and when appropriate," Accell said.

Accell owns Raleigh, Diamondback, Haibike, Ghost, Winora, Lapierre, Batavus, Sparta, Koga and other brands. Pon owns Cervélo, Santa Cruz, Focus and Gazelle, the largest Dutch bike brand.

Without releasing specific figures, Accell said that in the first quarter sales of e-bikes continued to increase while sales of city and kids' bikes decreased. It confirmed its previous forecasts for growth in sales and profit for the full year.

Takens remains involved with Accell Group as adviser. Ab Pasman, chairman of the Supervisory Board, said, "We are grateful to René for his significant contribution to the development and growth of Accell Group in the past 18 years. He joined in 1999 shortly after the listing when Accell Group was a company with 750 employees and turnover of 150 million euros. Under his leadership, the company has grown into a leading multinational and Europe's largest bicycle manufacturer with 3,000 employees and revenue of more than 1 billion euros. As such, he and his team were largely responsible for the international success of the e-bike."

 

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