Mifa Buys Insolvent Bikemaker Steppenwolf to Expand Sales

Mifa Mitteldeutsche Fahrradwerke AG, the largest German manufacturer of bicycles, bought insolvent competitor Steppenwolf GmbH to add buyers for its conventional pedal-powered models.

Mifa acquired all of Steppenwolf’s “significant assets,” including the sports-bike maker’s brand rights and sales network, the Sangerhausen, Germany-based company said in a statement yesterday. Mifa didn’t disclose the purchase price.

“Through Mifa, Steppenwolf will be able to boost its sales again, as Mifa’s customer base is larger,” Mark Appoh, an outside financial spokesman for the bikemaker, said by phone today. “Further acquisitions are possible but nothing is planned yet.”

Mifa sold stock to current investors in July to fund acquisitions. It bought a majority stake in Berlin-based electric-powered bike manufacturer Grace GmbH in March. Munich-based Steppenwolf filed for insolvency on July 26 and proceedings started yesterday, Mifa said.

“As early as 2013, we expect positive impulses through Steppenwolf,” Mifa Chief Executive Officer Peter Wicht said in the statement. “Along with e-bikes, we also regard high-quality bicycles for independent bicycle dealers as a growth market for us.”

Mifa rose as much as 2.5 percent to 8.10 euros at 10:55 a.m. in Frankfurt, valuing the company at 73.1 million euros ($91.2 million).

The bikemaker’s biggest shareholder is entrepreneur Carsten Maschmeyer, whose current stake is 28 percent, Appoh said. Maschmeyer made his fortune by founding financial services broker AWD Holding AG.

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