Owner of Gazelle bikes buys Cannondale, Schwinn for $810 million

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch owner of bike brands including Gazelle, Santa Cruz and Urban Arrow said on Monday it has agreed to buy brands including Cannondale, Schwinn and Mongoose from owner Dorel Industries Inc. for $810 million, creating one of the largest bike makers globally with $2.5 billion in estimated annual sales.

Pon Holdings, which bid unsuccessfully to buy the Sparta and Batavus brands for $900 million in 2017, said the latest acquisition would give it a strong foothold in U.S. markets where it expects to sell e-bikes, as well as road, city and mountain bikes.

"Together we can further cater to the ever growing demand for quality and electric bikes, whether it’s for urban use, leisure or sports," CEO Janus Smalbraak said in a statement.

The group will compete against China's Yadea Group and Merida Industry and Giant Manufacturing of Taiwan.

Schwinn is one of the oldest and best-known cycle brands in the United States, making an array of bikes including notably "beach cruisers". Mongoose is known for BMX and dirt bikes, while Cannondale makes high-end road bikes.

E-bikes now make up 70% of sales at Pon's bicycle arm. The company has been rolling out new services in Europe, including the popular "Swapfiets" in Amsterdam where users pay a monthly fee and get repairs and replacement bikes for free.

The businesses being acquired from Canada's Dorel, which also include GT, Charge, and the Brazilian brand Caloi, have annual sales of $1.2 billion, Pon said.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan)

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