Hero Cycles buys stake in German e-bike maker HNF Nicolai

Hero Cycles Ltd has acquired a stake in German premium e-bike maker HNF Nicolai. The company’s move is to tap the overseas market. Along with Hero, a German investment trust IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH has also bought the stake in the German e-bike maker. Financial details of the transaction remain undisclosed.

In their joint collaboration, Hero Cycles and HNF are looking forward to becoming a full-range supplier for e-bikes in European markets. Hero said the acquisition of the German firm is in line with its objective of achieving a 5% market share by 2022.

Hero Motors Company has said it will strengthen HNF by investing in its design, brand building, distribution and supply chain capabilities. The company will also establish HNF as its global centre of excellence for electric bikes with its Berlin-based research and development centre.

The company will leverage HNF’s expertise in e-bike design and engineering strength for the e-bike and bicycle businesses in global markets, Hero Cycles added.

After Germany, the largest e-bike market in Europe, Hero Cycles will expand its footprint in the European Union with more acquisitions and partnerships.

HNF was founded as HNF Heisenberg in 2008 and was established by Michael Hecken, Kalle Nicolai and Benjamin Börries. It manufactures and sells a range of e-bikes that are powered by carbon belts instead of traditional bicycle chains. It was renamed to HNF Heisenberg and Nicolai, before finally changing to HNF Nicolai.

Hero Cycles  was incorporated in 1966, and has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million bicycles per year. It has manufacturing units in Ludhiana, Bihar’s Bihta and Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.

The company has also made other acquisitions in the bicycle segment. In August 2015, it agreed to acquire a controlling stake in the UK-based cycle distributor Avocet Sports Ltd, a move that marked its entry into Europe. In March 2016, it announced the acquisition of a 60% stake in Sri Lankan bicycle manufacturer BSH Ventures.

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