Souter Investments, the private equity focussed family investment office, has completed an investment in European electric bicycle (“e-bike”) producer Leader (the “Company”).
Leader is a leading producer of high-quality e-bikes and supplies touring, trekking, mountain, folding and gravel e-bikes. The Company is based in Bulgaria with sales across Europe.
Souter has backed The Rohatyn Group (“TRG”), the global asset management firm and regional specialists, who led the acquisition and will partner with Dimitar Zlatanov, Leader’s CEO, and a member of the Company’s founding family. The business was acquired from KJK Capital, a Nordic based private equity investor.
The deal provides the Company with investment and expertise to aim to rapidly accelerate its e-bike production and broaden its product offering.
TRG’s Colin Clark, Partner, and Head of EMEA Private Markets commented, “Leader is a highly attractive business that provides a unique and high-quality product offering in the European e-bike sector. The Company is well positioned to benefit from the increasing focus on healthier lifestyles, where e-bikes can offer an exercise solution across a wide spectrum of age and fitness levels, the continuing transformation of cities to cycle friendly zones, increased demand for practical eco-friendly transportation, shared bike programmes and last mile micro delivery.”
Maurice Shamash, Investment Director at Souter Investments notes, “We are delighted to continue to build on our relationship with TRG following our successful investment in Pet Network International, a great growth story benefiting from the global trend of pet humanisation. In Leader, TRG is partnering with another high growth business and regional leader, in a fast-developing and growing market, with attractive macro dynamics and scope to lever their expertise to accelerate growth.”
The Leader deal follows shortly after the announcement of Souter’s investment in SI-UK, the international student recruitment business alongside Averna Capital, and coincides with the acquisition by portfolio company Newcastle Tool and Gauge (“NTG”), a specialist engineering group, of ABS Precision.
NTG manufactures high value components and assemblies for sectors including offshore energy, automotive, defence, food production and power generation, whilst ABS are specialists in hydraulic bolting markets and have developed capabilities in specialist components for applications in the electric vehicle market.
Souter has backed Ignite Growth who led the acquisition as part of NTG’s strategic M&A plan. The acquisition is highly complementary providing enhanced scale with both businesses providing mission critical precision components to clients globally. The acquisition also extends NTG’s capabilities in specialised digital turning, milling, and cutting to an extended client base.
Shamash added, “It is great to partner with Ignite Growth again and to support NTG’s MD Mike Hutchinson and his team with their maiden bolt on acquisition. This is the next step in the NTG growth story and builds on its recent announcement of move to a new, larger custom built production facility. Operating in a sizeable and fragmented sector, further acquisitions and consolidation will play a part in NTG’s growth strategy.”
Founded in 1996 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Leader is a leading producer of e-bikes in Europe with sales across the continent. It provides sustainable and quality e-mobility solutions, closely partnering with its customers to combine engineering and technology innovation with total quality control. The Company produces a broad range of e-bikes including touring, trekking, mountain, folding and gravel bike models. The Company is planning to launch a new e-cargo bike in 2023.
For more information, please visit https://leader96.com/.
About Newcastle Tool and Gauge
Based in Gateshead and founded in 1979, NTG manufactures high value components and assemblies for sectors including offshore energy, automotive, defence, food production and power generation. Its low volume, high value parts are used in a variety of severe duty engineering applications, where its products operate in high temperature, high pressure, or high stress environments.
NTG is backed by Ignite Growth LLP, the private equity firm, which acquired a majority stake in the company as part of a Management Buy Out in late 2020.
For more information, please visit https://www.ntg-ltd.co.uk/