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Pon picks up Derby shares as window closes

Published December 15, 2011

ALMERE, Netherlands (BRAIN)—Pon Holdings now controls 92 percent of Derby Cycle Werke with the recent close of a second acceptance period of the Dutch company’s voluntary takeover offer.

Pon owns 6,897,029 shares, or 91.96 percent, of the company. As laid out in its early September offer, Pon paid 28 euros per Derby share, which amounts to approximately 193.1 million euros ($251 million), although some shares were purchased on the stock exchange outside the offer and could have sold at a lower price.

The final 107,645 shares, or 1.44 percent, of the company were acquired during an additional acceptance period that ended Dec. 7. The two-week window had been set aside for shareholders who did not accept Pon’s offer during the initial acceptance period, which ran from Oct. 21 to Nov. 18.

Pon had already acquired shares before and during the initial acceptance period including a 22 percent stake owned by Accell Group; 2.5 percent of the 8 percent of voting rights held by Derby CEO Mathias Seidler; and two other members of Derby’s management team holding less than 1 percent of the shares combined.

Under the terms of the agreement, Derby maintains its production facility in Cloppenburg, Germany, for at least five years, and will continue to be listed as a separate legal entity on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange for at least 18 months. With backing from Pon—a 5 billion euro international trading company and one of the Netherlands’ largest family-owned businesses—Derby will fuel future growth, particularly in international markets. Derby’s last full-year revenue was 173.2 million euros with sales of 430,000 bikes. It owns Focus, Rixe, Kalkhoff and Univega and is licensed to sell Raleigh in much of mainland Europe.

Pon intends to eventually combine Derby’s business operations with Gazelle, a Dutch producer of about 300,000 electric, city, hybrid and sports bicycles per year. Pon purchased Gazelle earlier this year. By doing this, Pon expects to see benefits in productivity and growth, access to new markets, product development and enlargement of a highly qualified workforce. Pon intends to run each company separately with the current management structures but under the umbrella of a new holding company headquartered in Cloppenburg.

—Nicole Formosa

Topics associated with this article: Mergers & Acquisitions, Bikeshare

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