Accell Group bolsters urban mobility position with Velosophy acquisition

The Accell Group has bolstered its already strong foundation in the urban mobility market with the buyout of electric and non-electric cargo specialist Velosophy, the parent to the Babboe cargo label.

Very much in keeping with the key trend on show at Eurobike, the deal is actually an upped stake on its 35% minority share in the business to a majority share. As well as Babboe, the deal includes the new premium cargo bike brand CarQon, and Centaur Cargo, a specialist in B2B cargo bikes for ‘last mile deliveries’.

Velosophy launched the Babboe brand more than 10 years ago with the aim of making cargo bikes available for all young families. Babboe is now the European market leader and is active in 22 countries. To serve the top-end of the market, in 2018 Velosophy launched CarQon, a premium e-cargo bike has become an award-winning design. Velosophy’s Centaur Cargo serves the fast-growing market for electric delivery bikes for urban transport. This B2B cargo bike specialist is currently running various pilots in partnership with major e-commerce players. Accell Group’s indirect stake of 14% in Carver remains unchanged.

Ton Anbeek, CEO Accell Group: “This acquisition is a significant step forward in our urban mobility strategy and bolsters our position in the market for e-cargo bikes. The focus of this strategy is not just on consumers, but also on the growing demand for smarter and cleaner mobility solutions for the delivery of parcels, shopping and meals in cities. The Velosophy team lives and breathes innovation and provides us with even more execution power in the international e-cargo bike market. Together we can make a real difference for both consumers and the business market in areas such as electric drives and safety, but also on specific e-cargo innovations such as battery capacity, road holding and cornering stability.”

Epco Vlugt, General Manager Velosophy: “We are extremely pleased with this more intensive partnership and acquisition. Accell has been involved as a shareholder right from the start and throughout those years has been helping us to realise our vision. This has resulted in a truly wonderful company that is now active in 22 countries. The growing international demand for urban bike solutions is creating enormous opportunities. Opportunities that we, as a small player, are not big enough or fast enough to respond to. By joining forces with Accell, we will be able to develop and implement our innovative solutions more quickly and launch them on a global scale. The opportunities opened up by Accell as a global player give us a huge energy boost to continue the expansion of Velosophy and its brands and to allow them to thrive.”

Velosophy has around 50 employees, is growing rapidly and in 2017 recorded turnover of € 17.7 million. Accell Group will finance the acquisition from its own resources. The transaction is subject to the approval of the German market authority and completion is expected in the third quarter of 2018. Velosophy will make an immediate contribution to the earnings per share once it is consolidated.