Race Productions NV, the company behind Ridley racing bikes, is taking over bicycle brand Eddy Merckx.
"The synergy between the two brands can lift the Belgian cycling industry to new heights.Race Productions is taking over the Eddy Merckx brand," states Jochim Aerts, CEO and founder of Race Productions and Ridley. "This brand has so much history, was often a frontrunner among the bicycle brands and means so much to the Belgian cycling industry. Eddy Merckx and Ridley are the two most renowned Belgian cycling brands and they can now strengthen each other."
CEO of Diepensteyn NV and owner of Eddy Merckx Cycles Bart van Muylder added: "We are tremendously pleased that Ridley shares our vision for the future of the Merckx brand. With great passion and with the best people in the cycling industry, we have continued to build this iconic brand. This has resulted in a sensational new collection, internationalisation of sales and a breakthrough in the USA where nearly 1,500 Merckx bikes were sold last year.
“The limited scale, however, has had a negative impact on our purchase and sales prices, and this has caused the fixed structural costs to continue to put pressure on the results. Furthermore, as a small player in the industry, we simply do not carry enough weight internationally to attract the strongest distribution partners.
If the Merckx brand really wants to breakthrough worldwide, it must join a big player. We considered it our responsibility to keep this piece of Belgian patrimony in Belgian hands. Ridley, with its baseline, We are Belgium, and its worldwide distribution, is the ideal party to carry on this tribute to Eddy Merckx."
"We guarantee the survival and further development of this brand," commented Aerts. "This takeover creates a kind of cross-pollination of the two Belgian brands within our company. Our in-house R&D will keep the Eddy Merckx bikes at the highest level, with respect for the unique identity and heritage associated with the brand and its specific designs, of course."
"This takeover will give an extra boost to the Belgian cycling industry. Merckx can become the next jewel in the crown of Bike Valley and do an even better job of representing Belgium at an international level, together with Ridley, which has been present at the WorldTour peloton for years.
Belgium is acclaimed for its unique cycling culture. Thanks to riders like Eddy Merckx, the most successful cyclist of all time, we have been the home of the course for many years. That is why the synergy between Eddy Merckx and Ridley is such good news. Belgium, the centre of the world when it comes to cycling, now more than ever," concluded Aerts