Written by Jonny Williamson
The British company, founded in Nottingham, has been operating for nearly 125 years designing and manufacturing bicycles under the brand names Grifter, Burner, Diamondback and its most famous, Chopper.
Raleigh sold 850,000 units last year, the majority still designed in Nottingham; however they are now manufactured in Far East countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, with the company’s once 8,000 strong workforce reduced to just 430.
Alan Finden-Crofts, the chairman, principal stock-holder and former CEO of Raleigh, said of the sale:
“In Raleigh, Accell Group is acquiring a true global brand with 125 years of heritage and distribution into over 140 countries worldwide, and I am confident that Raleigh has found the ideal employer to support the employees, customers, suppliers and the future growth of the business.”
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Based in the Netherlands, Accell already owns a number of well-known bicycle brands including Batavus, Ghost, Hercules and Sparta brands. Its acquisition of Raleigh further strengthens Accell’s position as one of the largest companies in the global bicycle industry, a company who already operate production facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Hungary and Turkey.
Accell Group’s CEO, Rene Takens, commented:
“We are very pleased with the acquisition of Raleigh, another milestone for our company. Acquiring Raleigh adds a strong traditional and global brand with a rich heritage to our portfolio and with the Diamondback brand we strengthen our position in the mountain bike and BMX segment.”
Takens went on to add:
“We also strengthen our position in bicycle parts and accessories in North American and the United Kingdom improving Accell Group’s global competitiveness in this field. The acquisition will expand our activities to new geographical markets while benefiting from purchasing advantages through increased economies of scale. We have great confidence in Raleigh’s management team and will fully support future growth of Raleigh within our group.”
The deal is expected to be finalised in May, once signed off by the German competition authorities, with Raleigh’s current management expected to stay on after completion.