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Merida takes stake in Specialized - BikeBiz

Merida takes stake in Specialized

Taiwanese bike maker Merida - one of the world`s biggest speciality MTB manufacturers - has taken what is believed to be a minority stake in the US company that, though the Stumpjumper, popularised the sport of mountain biking
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An official statement from Specialized Bicycles Inc of Morgan Hill in California - until now wholly owned by founder Mike Sinyard - did not mention the size of the minority stake, nor was there any explicit mention of cash changing hands.

However, Taiwanese insiders believe Merida has accepted a 30 percent stake.

Merida is a major supplier of bikes to `sexy`bike brands. It also makes a lot of own-brand bikes for Halfords.

Specialized USA is fully committed to servicing only IBDs after a less than successful attempt to go mainstream.

Mike Sinyard - who founded the company in 1974 - said that he will "commit additional personal funds to enhance Specialized's leadership

position."

He retains full control over the company as the majority shareholder and president/CEO.

There will be no change in the management team or the company's strategic position, said Sinyard.

The official statement said:

"Additional investment was sought to strengthen the company and support its

commitment to the IBD. Specifically, the investments will be used to

enhance the service to the Independent Bicycle Dealer, increase investments

in dedicated merchandising programs, expand sales efforts, support advocacy

and the activity of cycling, invest and expand in Europe and, most

important, bolster an already strong research and development budget.

Sinyard said:

"We've been working with Merida for more than ten years and there is great

trust between us. It's important to understand that Merida has a long-term

view of this industry. Merida knows the bike business and understands the needs of specialty retailers. I am extremely committed to

Specialized and want to ensure our expansion in today's challenging

economy.

Ike Tseng, CEO of Merida, said:

"Our investment in Specialized is in line with Merida's vision of investing

in best-of-breed businesses that are profitable. We are extremely excited

to contribute to the success of Specialized."

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