McLaren Applied’s Lavoie in talks to buy Dutch e-bike maker VanMoof – source

By Nick Carey and Toby Sterling

LONDON (Reuters) – Lavoie, the electric scooter unit of Formula One engineering and technology firm McLaren Applied, is in advanced talks to buy bankrupt Dutch e-bike maker VanMoof, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The source said talks are at “quite an advanced stage” and would involve Lavoie taking over “as much as possible” of VanMoof’s operations.

“They (VanMoof) are very well aligned with Lavoie’s strategy to grow as a premium global brand of e-mobility devices,” the source told Reuters.

The source said they could not provide additional details on terms or timing for a deal.

VanMoof was declared bankrupt on July 18. It has said administrators are now considering whether it can sell assets and restructure to save the business.

VanMoof sold around 200,000 electric bikes for more than 2,000 euros ($2,176) each before going bankrupt, partly due to high maintenance costs. The company had raised more than $180 million from investors including private equity firm Hillhouse, Silicon Valley venture capital fund Norwest Venture Partners and venture firm Felix Capital.

Last month Nasdaq-listed submitted a non-binding bid to acquire VanMoof for an undisclosed sum, but it was rejected by trustees.

According to another source familiar with the matter, McLaren Applied is one of two suitors remaining for VanMoof.

VanMoof bankruptcy trustee Jan Padberg said he could not comment on specific bids but said “we still have various parties in the race for an asset sale”.

“We hope to be able to talk exclusively to one of them very shortly,” he added.

Bought from McLaren by private equity firm Greybull Capital in 2021, McLaren Applied recently launched the premium Lavoie e-scooter brand. The scooters fold and unfold at the touch of a button and start at 1,890 pounds ($2,409).

($1 = 0.9190 euros)

($1 = 0.7846 pounds)

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Frances Kerry)