TI Cycles to acquire brand rights for Ridley in South Asia

Murugappa Group firm Tube Investments of India Ltd, which operates bicycle business as TI Cycles of India, has entered into an agreement with Ridley Bikes Belgium to acquire brand licensing rights in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar for 33 years, according to a statement.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The brand agreement is expected to strengthen TI Cycles of India's market share in the premium bicycles segment and will also establish Ridley as one of the leading global brands in India, the firm said.

As per the agreement, the two companies have decided to undertake a series of programmes in India to promote the culture of professional cycling and also provide a platform for Indian riders to get global exposure.

“The company plans to further strengthen its leadership position in the super premium segment by adding Ridley to the existing bouquet of the world's best bicycle brands like Bianchi, Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Mongoose & Montra, all under one roof," the statement said.

The premium bicycles will be available at Premium Track & Trail and Ciclo Cafe retail outlets and key brand outlets across cities.

The firm is also planning to expand its reach of branded retail stores to 50 outlets by 2017 from its present 12 outlets. It has a manufacturing facility in Chennai.

"With the introduction of Ridley Bicycles to India, TI Cycles has taken a distinctive approach to the Indian market. Moving forward, our focus will be to grow this segment in line with the needs of Indian consumers," said Jochim Aerts, chief executive officer of Ridley Bikes.

Founded in 1990, Ridley Bikes Belgium holds numerous patents for aerodynamic design of frames and forks, and have its products tested in wind tunnels and universities throughout the world. Ridley Bikes is distributed in over 30 countries.

TI Cycles of India operates through four brands—BSA, Hercules, Montra and Mach City. It has a dealer network of 2,500.

It competes with the likes of Hero Cycles and Atlas. Early this month, the world's largest cycle manufacturer Hero Cycles Ltd said it has agreed to acquire a controlling equity stake in UK-based cycle distributor Avocet Sports Ltd, in a move that would mark its entry into the European market.

Avocet is one of the top three distributors of bicycles, e-bikes, bicycle parts and accessories in the UK and has existing retail relationships with retailers such as Tesco, Halfords, Asda, Shop Direct and Amazon.

The company offers a range of products, including hybrid, folding, road, children's, mountain, BMX and roadster bikes. Its brands include Viking, Coyote, Rooster, Ryedale, Concept and Riddick.

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