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Potential sale for Guru Bicycles

Published September 11, 2012

LAVAL, Quebec (BRAIN) — A significant announcement relative to Guru Bicycles’ future will come at next week’s Interbike show, and several sources close to the company expect the news to be about a new owner for the Canadian custom frame and fit system manufacturer.

When asked last week, Guru marketing manager Phil Pinsky didn’t say much other than to stay tuned at Interbike. Sources have pointed to Cannondale’s Canadian parent, Dorel Industries, as the buyer. A spokesman for that company, Rick Leckner, would only say that the publicly traded Dorel always has its eyes open to acquisitions, particularly in its cycling and juvenile segments, and any announcement pertaining to an acquisition would be made when Dorel felt it made sense strategically.

One longtime Guru retailer said it’s no secret that a sale has been in the plans for Guru since majority owner Ted Matthews invested in the company three years ago. Matthews, a successful entrepreneur from the consumer electronics industry, and his investment group provided capital to help fund expansion for Guru during a difficult financial period for the company, but the group’s intention was always short-term, the retailer said.

Guru is a small, high-end custom and stock frame manufacturer with about 140 North American dealers and an annual output of about 5,000 units at its factory in Laval, Quebec. It is also known for its Dynamic Fit Unit, a $10,000 interactive system available to Guru dealers, which could appeal to a potential buyer that does not already have a fit system.

Guru retailer JT Lyons, owner of Moment Cycle Sport in San Diego, said he had heard rumblings about a possible Guru sale, and read some comments on the forum about it, but that the company had not notified him of any changes. Lyons hopes a potential new owner at Guru won’t threaten the exclusivity of the Dynamic Fit Unit. He is the only fitter in San Diego to use Guru’s DFU, and it’s been a tool to differentiate himself and his business from his competitors.

“We’re the only ones. If four other stores in San Diego have it, what’s the point of coming to my store?” he said.

Topics associated with this article: Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments, Interbike

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