Troubled e-bike company VanMoof has been sold to the McLaren Applied-backed e-mobility company, Lavoie, just weeks after the Dutch e-bike maker was declared bankrupt. The firm said its plan was to switch to using third-party retailers to sell and service VanMoof e-bikes.
McLaren Applied’s chairman Nick Fry said the acquisition, “underscores our commitment to strengthen and grow our world-leading e-mobility business.” He told Reuters that, including the capital needed to 'stabilise' VanMoof, there would be an investment of "tens of millions" of pounds "in the short term".
VanMoof was declared bankrupt on July 17 when an Amsterdam judge removed the “suspension of payment" ruling protecting the firm from creditors. Micromobility.com, home of Helbiz, then submitted a bid to acquire the brand, but this was later rejected by trustees.
Fry also told Reuters that McLaren Applied would retain VanMoof's departmental managers, and "engage and retain or rehire some of the great people" VanMoof employed, but there will reportedly be some redundancies.
Under new management VanMoof will also abandon its in-house retail store model, instead using third-party retailers to sell and service bikes.
E-bikes will be offered in parallel with Lavoie’s existing e-scooter operation, and the company says this "synergy" will allow the business to, “redefine the growing e-mobility sector by approaching urban mobility via the world of serious automotive engineering”.
The acquisition will also allow the company to "tap into" the leadership of McLaren Applied.
Eliott Wertheimer, Lavoie CEO, said: “With its next generation of e-bikes, smart technology, innovative design, and loyal customer base, VanMoof and Lavoie fit together perfectly.
“VanMoof has 190,000 customers globally and our commitment is to continue to keep those riders on the road whilst we stabilise and efficiently grow the VanMoof business and continue to develop its world-class products.”
Fry added: “We see a huge potential to transform the way people travel around the congested cities of the world in a more active and enjoyable way.
“This exciting deal helps us to accelerate global growth, allowing us to increase the scale and quality of products and services we can offer to our customers. We are fully committed to being leaders in manufacturing premium e-mobility products that are redefining the category with each ride.”
Lavoie is a subsidiary of technology company McLaren Applied, not McLaren Group. Although McLaren Applied was part of the Group for 20 years, it is now under different ownership and is an independent entity from McLaren Group, McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing.