Punctured: Bike maker Accell breaks off merger talks with Pon Holdings

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Amsterdam-listed Accell Group has pulled the chain off plans to create the world’s largest maker of bikes and electric bikes, breaking off talks with private Dutch transportation group Pon Holdings complaining its increased offer of €33 a share fails to provide “adequate recognition of the future value Accell Group can create independently”.

Shares in the bike maker, which rose 20 per cent on the announcement of the original €32 a share offer on April 11, fell almost 6 per cent to €30.10 in early trading in Amsterdam. The original offer valued Accell at €845m.

Hielke Sybesma, interim chairman of Accell, said:

Having studied every important aspect of the offer, the supervisory board and the executive board have come to the joint conclusion that Pon Holding’s offer does not sufficiently reflect the future value creation of Accell Group and the expected synergies. It has also become clear that the offer lacks sufficient support from shareholders.

Pon expressed “surprise” at Accell’s decision “to reject this new proposal and to suddenly break off the discussions”.

Accell is Europe’s largest bicycle company by turnover, selling about 1.5m bikes each year. Pon, which owns Dutch brand Gazelle and the German bike company Derby Cycles, expects to sell 800,000 bicycles in 2017. Their combined sales would have been worth about €1.7bn annually.

The Netherlands has the highest penetration of bicycle ownership in the world. Overall bicycle sales by volume in the Netherlands and Germany have been static for years. But revenues have been rising on the back of double-digit growth in electric bikes, alongside improvements in motor and battery technology.

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