LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The electric-scooter unit of Formula One engineering and technology company McLaren Applied said on Thursday it had agreed to buy bankrupt Dutch e-bike maker Vanmove and would invest to stabilize and expand the business. a job.
Lavoie and McLaren Applied did not disclose terms of the purchase, but McLaren Applied chairman Nick Frey told Reuters that including the capital needed to stabilize VanMoof, there would be an investment of “tens of millions” of pounds “in the short term”.
“This is a huge opportunity for us because this (VanMoof) is a company with a great product,” Frey said. “But this will not be a walk in the park, as this is also a company that has put itself in a difficult financial position.”
Court-appointed trustees of VanMoof to oversee the bankruptcy process confirmed the sale and said they were pleased with the outcome.
“Soon after September 4, more will be announced regarding the continuation of services to VanMoof riders,” Secretaries Jan Padberg and Robin De Witt said in a statement.
Frey said McLaren Applied – which private equity firm Greybull Capital bought from McLaren Group in 2021 – will retain VanMoof divisional managers and will “engage and retain or rehire some of the great people” the Dutch e-bike maker has hired.
But he said there would be some redundancies and, under new management, VanMoof would ditch its own in-house retail store model, instead using outside retailers to sell and service bikes, opening up new markets around the world for potential buyers.
VanMoof, known for its sleek, minimalist designs, declared bankruptcy on July 18. It sold about 200,000 electric bikes for more than 2,000 euros ($2,176) each before going bankrupt, in part because of high maintenance costs.
With a sales boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, VanMoof has raised more than $180 million from investors including private equity firm Hillhouse and venture capital fund Silicon Valley Norwest Venture Partners.
Another VanMoof applicant was Nasdaq-listed Micromobility.com (MCOM.O).
The VanMoof also suffered from quality problems, which McLaren Applied’s Frey said hurt sales. But the bike manufacturer corrected these problems with new models that it was unable to bring to market before declaring bankruptcy.
McLaren Applaid will now sell these models, Fry said.
McLaren Applied recently launched the luxury e-scooter brand Lavoie. The scooters can be folded and unfolded at the touch of a button and are priced starting at £1,890 ($2,409). Deliveries will begin in earnest in the fourth quarter.
Lavoie will sell e-bikes under the VanMoof brand and will consider whether to rebrand its scooters under the same name, Frey said.
“VanMoof has an incredibly loyal following,” he said. “So, we will certainly retain 100% of the VanMoof brand, and how it will be integrated with Lavoie has yet to be determined.”
Reporting by Nick Carey. Editing by David Holmes
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