Groupe Bruxelles Lambert has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Canyon Bicycles. As part of the transaction, significant minority shareholder TSG Consumer Partners will fully exit its stake.

The founder, Roman Arnold, will remain the Chairman of the Advisory Board and reinvest a significant part of his proceeds alongside GBL. Together, Canyon’s leading position is to be further expanded, with particular emphasis on continuing successful product development as well as on the advancement of customer service and sustainable mobility concepts.

Canyon is a leading and fast-growing German manufacturer of premium conventional and electric bikes with global reach. It is the largest direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) player worldwide, directly selling to end-consumers via its own e-commerce website, hence providing a unique channel advantage. Canyon aims to fulfill consumers’ passion for cycling through a broad portfolio of Road bikes, Mountain bikes, Gravel bikes and Urban bikes. Canyon’s premium brand heritage has enabled strong partnerships with bicycle enthusiasts and athletes, including the Movistar cycling team and 3-time cyclo-cross World Champion Mathieu van der Poel.

Canyon is at the crossroad of multiple structural trends in line with GBL’s strategic priorities, including health and wellness, sustainable mobility and online distribution. Over the past seven years, Canyon’s sales have grown at an average rate of 25% per annum, almost doubling in the last three years alone, exceeding EUR 400 million today.

Canyon’s growth has been driven by technology leadership and innovative power, increasing brand awareness, capitalizing on the market shift towards e-commerce, increasing penetration of bicycles, especially in the e-bike category, and successful recent entries in the US markets. Canyon will have many growth levers in the coming years, including further growth in Europe and the US, as well as in the fast-growing e-bike market. Product and customer service will be fundamental drivers of the plan.

Canyon has an experienced team in place, led by the CEO Mr. Armin Landgraf, to further expand its position as one of the world’s leading bicycle companies.

This transaction is aligned with GBL’s strategy developed by its CEO Ian Gallienne and his team: invest in structurally growing industries aligned with sustainability and partnering with founders and management teams.

As part of the transaction, Tony Fadell will also co-invest alongside GBL and be a member of the Advisory Board. Tony was the SVP of Apple’s iPod Division and led the teams that created the iPod and the iPhone.

He founded Nest Labs in 2010 which he ultimately sold to Google. Tony now runs Future Shape, a global advisory and investment firm coaching engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs working on foundational deep technology, with the goal to bring technology out of the lab and into our lives. Tony’s product expertise, alongside his team at Future Shape, will provide a great support to Canyon’s management team to further accelerate growth in the coming years.

Ian Gallienne, CEO of GBL, commented: “Canyon is a fast-growing premium brand with an excellent track record, strong team and great potential. Canyon is very complementary to GBL’s existing portfolio, increasing our exposure to secular trends such as sustainable mobility, health awareness and digitalization.

We are thrilled to become partners with Roman Arnold and the whole Canyon team as they take Canyon’s success story to the next level and, together with Tony Fadell, we look forward to our future partnership.”

Tony Fadell, Principal at Future Shape, said: “Roman and his team have built an incredible business over the past 20+ years. We are honored that we can help propel Canyon‘s heart pumping brand to meet the surging interest in bikes – from the trail and the track to the commute, while keeping cars parked.”

The passion for the business and long term commitment as key decision factors to join GBL:

Roman Arnold, founder of Canyon, added: “I am very pleased about the partnership with GBL who have impressed me and my team with their passion for our business, their extensive experience and their long term orientation.

At this juncture, I would also like to emphasize the important role TSG has played in our growth journey so far. Canyon remains on a strong trajectory and I am excited at executing on the future growth levers with GBL and the whole Canyon team to further expand our position as one of the world’s leading bicycle companies.”

Blythe Jack, Managing Director at TSG Consumer Partners, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the extraordinary partnership we have enjoyed for the past five years with Roman Arnold and the Canyon team, and are very proud of the many accomplishments we achieved together during a period of significant growth. We see a bright future ahead for Canyon and look forward to watching their continued success with GBL.”

The transaction is expected to be completed, once the necessary regulatory authorizations are received, during the course of Q1 2021.

Source: Deal Advisors

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