Accell takes Raleigh Cycle for a spin

Raleigh, one of the world's most famous bicycle brands, has just been bought by Dutch rival Accell for $100m.

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Last Updated: 26 Oct 2015
Raleigh, maker of the Chopper and Vektar brands, has been bought by fellow bike maker Accell for £62m. The acquisition is currently in the hands of the competition authorities, as the deal will see Accell owning not just the Raleigh brand but also the Diamondback range. But, unless this proves a spoke in the wheel, the deal should go through by the end of May.

Raleigh has been making bikes for 125 years. Founded in Nottingham, it was the biggest bicycle maker in the world in its post-war heyday, employing 8,000 people and producing a million cycles a year. These days, however, it’s more of a design house than a manufacturer. The last bike to be made by Raleigh in Britain was sold more than a decade ago and the firm now manufactures its 850,000 or so cycles a year in Vietnam, Korea and Bangladesh.

Its survival through tough times has been credited to current chairman and former chief exec Alan Finden-Crofts, who led a $20m management buy-out of Raleigh back in 2001 after the parent company Derby Cycle went bankrupt. Still one of Raleigh’s largest shareholders, Finden-Croft is set to make a multi-million pound windfall from the sale.   

Accell is hoping that the Raleigh acquisition will bring some instant heritage to its portfolio, as well as helping it to break new ground in the UK and US. Let's just hope that Accell doesn’t transform the iconic Chopper into a Dutch-style shopper with a wicker basket on the front…

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