The next bike deal

Not only bicycles are in demand, in many places they are even sold out. Manufacturers are also interested – among investors. One of them is now acquiring a supplier of fast electric bicycles.

Stromer bike

In the bicycle industry is also becoming more and more dynamic from an investor’s point of view. According to information from the FAZ, the holding company Naxicap is acquiring the Swiss manufacturer Stromer, which specializes in fast bicycles with electric motors and wants to expand in Germany. The company valuation is in the order of 80 to 100 million euros, according to financial circles. The contracts should be signed on Thursday.

Naxicap is the private equity arm of the French asset management company Natixis, which is owned by the French savings and cooperative banks. In 2018 he set up an office in Frankfurt for the German-speaking area. Naxicap manages 4 billion euros from institutional investors and specializes in medium-sized companies with an operating profit (Ebitda) of 5 to 30 million euros.

Stromer’s Ebitda is in this range, as Naxicap managing director Peter Pergovacz said in an interview with the FAZ. According to him, sales last year were “around 50 million euros”, and 60 million euros have been budgeted for the current year. An increase in sales of 10 million euros – the company generally sees this as an annual benchmark.

Stromer specializes in “speed pedelecs”, a special segment of “pedelecs” – those bicycles that give cyclists electrical assistance when pedaling. Normally the motor stops working at 25 kilometers per hour, with speed pedelecs only at 45 kilometers per hour. Stromer sees the vehicles primarily as suitable for commuters who travel so far to work that they would otherwise only cover the distance by car.

In this special field of the bicycle market, Stromer has a market share of 20 percent in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to Pergovacz. These countries are the company’s main markets, and it is to expand its presence in Germany.

The bicycle industry is in great demand among investors. The Koblenz-based sports bike manufacturer Canyon switched from the American private equity house TSG to the Belgian financial holding Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL); the overall valuation was put in financial circles with a magnitude of 800 million euros. The Dresden online retailer Bike24 is considering an IPO. The transmission parts manufacturer hGears, which belongs to the financial investor Finatem, should be traded on the Frankfurt floor for the first time today, Friday. On Tuesday evening he set the price at 26 euros per share, the price range had previously been 23 to 31 euros.

hGears achieves around a third of its sales with the bicycle industry – but is currently focusing on this business, obviously as part of the “stock market story”. Climate-friendly products are currently in demand with investors. Private equity has also discovered the topic for itself. “We are very much focused on topics such as sustainability,” said Pergovacz in a telephone conversation on Thursday.

So far, Naxicap has made three acquisitions in Germany: The first was the Teufel company in 2018, which is the largest European direct mail order company for audio products and supplies home theater systems, hi-fi equipment, headphones, loudspeakers and other items. It previously belonged to the investment company Hg Capital. In the following year, Naxicap announced the takeover of the Trier roof specialist Alwitra, which has since been absorbed into one of the investor’s portfolio companies. The French acquired the IT solution provider Guntermann & Drunck from the holding company Borromin.