Rossignol Group and WhaTTfornow have reached an agreement on the acquisition of the manufacturing and commercial activities of high-end pedals and bike brand Time, to take effect this summer. The French start-up, at the forefront of e-bike innovation, aims to build a French Brand Group around cycling in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. Meanwhile, Rossignol Group is refocusing its bike activity to centre on the Felt and Rossignol Bike brands.
Saint-Jean-de-Moirans, 5 June 2020
Rossignol Group and WhaTTfornow have reached an agreement on the takeover of Time. The transaction incorporates all of the high-end cycling brand’s activities, including production of Time’s carbon frames, forks and accessories which takes place at the Carboprax factory in Gajary, Slovakia, and the brand’s commercial operation which designs and markets pedals manufactured in Rossignol’s factory at Nevers in France. The transaction is subject to the arrangement of the related financing and should be finalised by the summer.
Despite significant investments dedicated to Time since its acquisition in 2016, the brand has not succeeded in reaching the critical size to fit within Rossignol Group for the long term. Rossignol has modernized pedal production at its Nevers site and advanced the RTM carbon technology it uses, unique in the world of cycling, at the Carboprax factory in Slovakia. Time now has an efficient manufacturing structure.
In addition to the financial and workforce guarantees provided by WhaTTfornow, Rossignol Group was motivated by the buyer and its founder François Guers’ intention to develop the Time brand and secure its future. For WhaTTfornow, a highly innovative start-up in new-generation e-bikes, this acquisition is a step towards developing a manufacturing group of French brands around cycling. More broadly, it fits with the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region’s intention to consolidate and develop a “Bike of the Future” sector, which Rossignol Group will support via its cycle activity.
This handover allows Rossignol Group to refocus its bike activities on the Felt brand for performance in road, gravel, cyclocross, track, and triathlon bikes, and on Rossignol Bike for the outdoor market with mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes. The Group will continue to produce pedals for WhaTTfornow at its Nevers site.
François Guers commented : “By rising to the challenge of reviving Time, an iconic and highly innovative French brand in sport cycling, WhaTTfornow is adding to its offer of Boost electric-assist bikes aimed at young people and athletes, represented by Alexis Pinturault, the ambassador for these two brands. By reconnecting with specialist stores in the bike world, and particularly with those who have remained loyal despite more challenging times, Time will be able to use its innovative new products to achieve real growth.”
Bruno Cercley, Groupe Rossignol President & CEO, stated: “I am delighted at this agreement, which allows us to envisage beneficial, long-term development for Time, in a new environment which shares Rossignol’s passion for innovation. We will be happy to follow this new adventure by playing a part in the French Brand Group currently being created. Bikes remain a strong strategic focus for the Group, and we will concentrate our efforts on mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes with Rossignol, and on road bikes with Felt. The worldwide enthusiasm for bikes, particularly in mountain environments, supports our belief in this approach.”
WhaTTfornow CEO François Guers was keen to highlight the “very professional and constructive work carried out with Jean Laurent Nectoux, Rossignol COO, and his teams, to bring this transaction to fruition.“ The whole WhaTTfornow team is delighted at the prospect of working with the Time employees who will relocate to Rumilly, near Annecy. This new chapter for the 20 or so employees will unfold, from September, in the new setting of the former Salomon ski factory proposed by the Haute-Savoie General Council as the base camp for this new adventure.”