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
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.
"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
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."