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Accell Group Buys Turkish Bike Maker

Published November 16, 2010

HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands (BRAIN)—Accell Group N.V. has reached agreement on the acquisition of all outstanding shares in Bianchi Bisiklet A.S. (Turkey), which also includes a 50 percent participation in the well-known Italian company Atala.

Bianchi Bisiklet has the exclusive license to sell Bianchi brand bicycles in Turkey and is operationally completely independent of the Italian Bianchi. In order to prevent confusion with the other Bianchi bicycles brands around the World, the production facility in Turkey will be renamed in Accell Bisiklet, according to a press release.

The acquisition gives Accell Group a strong position in both Turkey and Italy, two attractive markets for bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories. Accell Group will finance the acquisition from its existing credit facilities.

The acquisition will make a positive contribution to earnings per share as of 2011.

“This acquisition gives us in one fell swoop a top three position in two important sales markets,” said René Takens, chairman of the board for Accell Group, which already owns the Batavus, Bremshey, Ghost, Hai Bike, Hercules, Koga, Lapierre, Loekie, Redline, Sparta, Staiger, Tunturi, Winora and XLC brands. “In addition, the takeover further improves our geographical spread and boosts our growth potential. Turkey is a fast-growing economy with an increasing usage and sales of bicycles. Italy has a long-standing and classic cycling culture, especially for leisure purposes. In recent years, we have also seen an increased demand for bicycles which are used in cities, among which electric bicycles.”

Bianchi Bisiklet in Turkey employs on average a staff of around 300. Around 40 percent of the bicycles produced are sold in Turkey, with the remaining 60 percent exported to Italy and other European countries.
 Atala, which is based in Monza, Italy, and whose shares are held by Bianchi Bisiklet and strategic Italian investors (50 percent each), employs a staff of around 30, focusing primarily on design, sales and logistics.

Atala is a trading company which, in addition to the sale of bicycles under its own brand name Atala, also sells bicycles under the brand names Whistle, Carraro and Dei. The Italian bicycles are partly produced in the Bianchi Bisiklet production facility in Turkey and partly purchased at other suppliers. Both Bianchi Bisiklet in Turkey and Atala in Italy have a strong distribution network of independent bicycle dealers.

Bianchi Bisiklet sells approximately 250,000 bicycles and has a turnover of approximately €30 million per annum. Atala sells approximately 125,000 bicycles and has an annual turnover of approximately €31 million, including bicycle parts and accessories and fitness.

The management of Bianchi Bisiklet and the management of Atala will remain in place after the acquisition. The companies will be integrated within Accell Group as companies in order to maximize the group synergies. Accell Group expects to complete the acquisition in the next few months.

Accell also confirmed its forecast of higher sales and an increase of 5-10 percent in net profit for 2010, despite rising transportation costs and discounting spurred by unfavorable weather in Europe.

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