World’s largest cycle manufacturer makes first International acquisition to enter European market
New Delhi, 12thAugust 2015: Hero Cycles, the world’s largest cycle manufacturer by volume, announced its acquisition of majority stake in the UK-based cycle distributor, Avocet Sports Limited, to mark its entry into the high-value cycle market in Europe.
Avocet is one of the top three distributors of bicycles, e-bikes, bicycle parts and accessories in the UK. The company has existing retail relationships with leading retailers such as Tesco, Halfords, ASDA, Shop Direct, Amazon, etc. Avocet, based in Manchester, has over 20 years of experience serving the cycling industry, which ensures that every bike in its portfolio is perfectly equipped to fulfil its customers’ needs. The company offers an extensive range of products including hybrid, folding, road, children’s bikes, e-bikes, Mountain bikes, BMX and roadster incorporating contemporary technology and design. Its leading brands include Viking, Coyote, , Rooster, Ryedale, Lectro, Concept and Riddick..
Speaking of the acquisition, Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and MD, Hero Cycles, said:” This acquisition marks our entry into the European market and plays an important role in realising our ambition of becoming one of its key players. We are very excited by our association with Avocet Sports which is one of the most renowned and trusted names in the cycle segment in the UK. We are hopeful that our respective teams will have the opportunity to work together and use our respective strengths to manufacture and distribute world-class products to customers in the UK and continental Europe. We are confident that the respective companies will integrate seamlessly without losing their individual identities.”
Mr Munjal had recently spoken about how the Ludhiana-based cycle manufacturer would be focusing its attention towards capturing significant market share in higher-value cycle markets such as the UK and Germany. Expansion into the European market will play an important role in realising the Hero Cycles Group’s plans for growth. Hero was advised by Grant Thornton and Osborne Clarke; Avocet by DWF and Cowgill Holloway for this acquisition.
Mr. Steven Walsh, Chairman of Avocet commented “I am very excited to become a part of the world’s largest Bi-cycles company- HERO CYCLES. We are proud to become the first acquisition for HERO outside of India. I am looking forward to working with the Hero team to develop the UK & European markets together.”
The Hero Cycles Group includes cycle giant, Hero Cycles, auto parts manufacturing companies, Hero Motors Ltd, ZF Hero Chassis Systems Pvt. Ltd, Munjal Kiriu Industries pvt. Ltd, hospitality arm Munjal Hospitality, and luxury home décor products company, Oma Livings.
Incorporated in 1956, Hero Cycles Limited is the largest cycle manufacturer by volume in the world. The company has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million bicycles per year, with its manufacturing units in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP). The company has a highly integrated plant in Ludhiana which produces 19,000 cycles every day. It also manufactures automotive rims and various other precision-engineered auto components. The company produced 5.5 million bicycles in FY14
Hero Cycles is the leader in both the standard and specialist bicycle segments in India, with an overall market share of about 35 per cent. The company is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and the most modern machinery. The Company also entered the premium bicycle segment with the launch of its new brand, UT Edge, in February 2012. A nationwide distribution network with over 3000 dealers and the favourable location of its plants near its vendors, supports its operations, and facilitates the competitive pricing of its bicycles.
Hero Cycles also exports to various countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.