December 17, 2020

Milbank Advises Canyon Founder Roman Arnold on Partnership with New Majority Investor Groupe Bruxelles Lambert


Milbank advised founder and majority shareholder Roman Arnold in connection with the acquisition of a majority stake in Canyon Bicycles GmbH (“Canyon”) by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL”), in particular the future partnership with GBL and the reinvestment in the new joint holding company. Canyon founder Roman Arnold will also remain the Chairman of Canyon’s Advisory Board. The current minority shareholder TSG Consumer Partners will fully exit its stake. The transaction took place as part of an auction process. Tony Fadell, Principal at Future Shape and former SVP of Apple’s iPod Division, will also co-invest alongside GBL and be a member of the Advisory Board. Together with Roman Arnold and Tony Fadell GBL intends to further expand Canyon’s position as one of the world’s leading bicycle companies by, among others, strengthening the successful product development, customer service and sustainable mobility concepts.

Canyon is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium road, mountain, triathlon, fitness, urban and kids’ bikes as well as modern e-bikes. The company, founded by Roman Arnold, is headquartered in Koblenz, Germany, and has more than 800 employees. Canyon has strong partnerships with bicycle enthusiasts and athletes, including the Movistar cycling team and 3-time cyclo-cross World Champion Mathieu van der Poel.

GBL is an investment holding company with over sixty years of stock exchange listing, a net asset value of €18 billion and a market capitalization of €12 billion at the end of September 2020. The investor focuses on long-term value creation and relying on a stable and supportive family shareholder base. GBL is listed on the Euronext Brussels stock exchange and included in the BEL20 index.

The transaction is expected to be completed, once the requisite regulatory authorizations have been obtained, in the course of the first quarter of 2021.

The Milbank team, which advised Roman Arnold in connection with the transaction, was led by partner Peter Nussbaum and Special Counsel Michael Pujol (joint lead, both Corporate/M&A, Munich) and included tax partner Thomas Kleinheisterkamp (Tax, Munich) and associates Patrick Droese, Markus von Lutterotti as well as Johannes Rogge-Balleer (all Corporate/M&A, Munich).