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Derby Cycle in Talks with Buyer

Published September 19, 2011

CLOPPENBURG, Germany (BRAIN)— Derby Cycle announced Monday that it’s in advanced negotiations with a new strategic partner to take over all shares of the public company.

Derby did not identify the potential partner, but said it is not currently a shareholder of the company. The Financial Times of Germany reported Monday that the partner may be Pon, the Dutch company that bought Gazelle earlier this year.

The partnership would avoid a hostile takeover of Derby by the Dutch Accell Group, which holds a 22 percent stake in Derby. Derby went public last February, and Accell Group quickly bought a 5.7 percent interest in the company. It increased that ownership to 22 percent last month, a move that Derby’s management board did not support.

Monday’s announcement drove Derby’s stock up 14 percent.

The conclusion of the buyout is still subject to the approval of the boards of Derby Cycle. Derby is Germany’s largest bicycle manufacturer and owns Focus, Kalkhoff, Rixe and Univega and holds the license for Raleigh in much of Europe. The 173 million euro company sold 430,000 bikes last year.

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