Felt bicycles is set to be sold for the third time in six years due to its parent company looking to focus on its other business interests, particularly on the production of motorcycles and e-bikes.
Looking ahead to 2024, Pierer Mobility called the new year a “year of consolidation” and said it would look to implement large-scale cost cutting measures amid a “difficult” wider global economic market.
Based in Austria, Pierer Mobility owns several bike, e-bike and motorcycle brands but has decided to sell its controlling stake of the Felt bicycles brand to a consortium led by KTM motorcycle’s managing director Florian Burguet.
Pierer mobility also has KTM, Husquarvana, MVAugusta and GasGas within its portfolio of brands. As well as selling its control of Felt, Pierer will also look to sell the R Raymon bicycle brand.
Burguet will leave his position as a board member of the Pierer mobility group in order to head up Felt independently.
Pierer’s move to sell its stake in the two bicycle companies is largely due to the current uncertainty within the wider cycling industry. Both brands will continue to exist, although they will revert to a more independent model of operation.
It’s expected that the sale of Felt will be concluded in the first half of 2024.
Up until recently Felt supplied bikes to the Human Powered Health Women's WorldTour team and the men's ProTeam. The American men's team will close at the end of the season due to a lack of funding, but the women's squad is still continuing. The WWT team will ride Factor bikes next year.
Felt bikes was founded in 1991 and initially started out producing time trial and triathlon bikes. The company eventually expanded and was bought by the Rossignol Group in 2017 before being sold on to Pierer at the end of 2021.
Meanwhile the wider cycling industry has seen multiple businesses experience financial difficulties in 2023.
In one of the most high profile cases, online retail giant WiggleCRC entered administration in October and not long after made more than 100 redundancies as a result.
Earlier in November, Giant bicycles announced that it had seen a slump in trade in recent months, citing "high inventories" and “weak demand” from the US and Europe markets.
The Taiwanese company reported a pre-tax profit of NT$1.51billion (£38.1million, $47.8million) in the third quarter of 2023, a fall of 49% compared to the same period in 2022.
Giant also revealed that sales in the first nine months of 2023 were down 12.4% year on year.
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