Czech Republic’s largest bike manufacturer acquired
The Czech Republic’s largest bike manufacturer, Bike Fun International, has been acquired after more than a year of negotiation by investment group Consillium.
In the trade Bike Fun is best known as the manufacturer behind house label Superior, Rock Machine and Frappé, though the production lines are likewise busy with OEM bicycles for foreign markets.
More than 80% of the Kopřivnice production is exported. The company employs almost 500 people and has produced more than 2.5 million bikes and e-Bikes during its history.
“The sale of BFI has been our long-term goal. In recent years, the company has entered such a rapid phase of growth that me and other owners have not been able to finance it in the long run. And just at the right time we were contacted by the Consillium investment group who have the necessary funds to finance the company’s growth. I am glad that the BFI will be in Czech hands”, said Mark de Kwant, CEO and the founder of BFI who, together with the top management, remains in charge of the company.
The new owner, Consillium, plans to further develop BFI which has produced more than 2.5 million bicycles since 2001.
“Thanks to this acquisition we can offer our customers sports equipment 365 days a year,” said Tomáš Klápště, Managing Director of Consillium. In addition to the recently acquired bicycle brands, the company also owns the Austrian ski brand Kästle and the Czech ski manufacturer Sporten.
Consillium does not plan to change the portfolio of BFI brands; on the contrary, they want to strengthen their development and support expansion into global markets.
“We will support not only the foreign expansion of our bicycle brands, which will be costly, but also the growth of the offer for OEM customers. We want the BFI to continue to grow because we know that this company and the people in it have what it takes to succeed,” explained Tomáš Klápště.
BFI currently sells bicycles and accessories in 29, mostly European, countries. Mark de Kwant will also lead to the continuity of growth as the CEO in the coming years.
“In January 2021 we will be launching the ninth production line and the launch of the tenth will depend on the supply of materials. In order to grow we need to find a lot of more new employees in the coming months,” said Mark de Kwant. The company’s strategy thus remains the same as before the change of the owner: to increase production, continually improve quality, offer top customer service and support new markets.
The Kopřivnice factory, which is located in the Tatra complex, produces almost 200,000 bicycles and e-bikes a year sold mostly on European markets. In addition to in-house development, its paint shop and bicycle production, BFI is engaged in the development of the Sport Drive electric drive and the production of bicycle accessories under the ONE Bikeparts brand. Last year BFI achieved a turnover of 105 million euro.
The Czech Republic has been one of a number of countries to benefit from the Covid bike boom, with some suppliers turning to the European territory for emergency bike supply.