Scottish bus entrepreneur invests in European e-bikes

Stagecoach Group co-founder Sir Brian Souter has backed a European e-bike producer.

The amount injected into the Bulgarian company Leader by Souter Investments – the investment vehicle of Sir Brian and his family – has not been disclosed.

Leader manufactures a wide range of electric bikes, including touring, trekking, mountain and folding models.

Sir Brian’s investment was made through global asset management firm The Rohatyn Group (TRG), which led the acquisition.

TRG is now a partner of Dimitar Zlatanov, CEO of Leader and a member of the company’s founding family.

The company was acquired from KJK Capital, a Nordic-based private equity investor.

Production ramp-up

The deal gives the Bulgarian company the cash and expertise to help it rapidly ramp up its e-bike production and expand its product offering.

Souter Investments Chief Investment Officer Maurice Shamash said, “We are delighted to continue to strengthen our relationship with TRG following our successful investment in Pet Network International, a great growth story benefiting from the global trend of humanization. pets.

“In Leader, TRG partners with another high-growth company and a regional leader in a fast-growing and developing market, with attractive macro momentum and the opportunity to leverage their expertise to accelerate growth.”

Attractive company

Colin Clark, Partner and Head of Private Markets Europe, Middle East and Africa, TRG, said: “Leader is a very attractive company with a unique and high quality product offering in the European sector. electric bike.

“Society is well positioned to benefit from the growing focus on healthier lifestyles, where e-bikes can offer an exercise solution for a wide range of ages and fitness levels, the continued transformation of cities into bike-friendly areas, increased demand for convenient and environmentally friendly transportation, bike-sharing programs and “last mile” micro-delivery.

Flurry of investments

The deal comes on the heels of Sir Brian’s investment in international student recruitment firm SI-UK, alongside Averna Capital.

And that coincides with the acquisition of northeast England-based engineering firm ABS Precision by Souter Investments holding company Newcastle Tool and Gauge (NTG).

Founded in 2006, Souter Investments has invested over £500 million in over 70 unlisted companies.

The company currently holds significant investments in more than 30 companies, acting either as a lead investor or as a partner to other financial sponsors.

Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag, the founding brothers of Stagecoach Group.

Sir Brian and his sister, Dame Ann Gloag founded Stagecoach in 1980 with just two buses.

The Perth-based company was recently acquired by European infrastructure fund Inframobility UK in a nearly £600m deal.

Over the years Sir Brian and his family have invested heavily in companies such as Scottish bus builder Alexander Dennis, biofuels company Argent, insurer, comparison site Gocompare and bus and ferry group New Zealander Souter Holdings.

But there’s also a no-go list for Sir Brian – he won’t invest in companies involved in alcohol, gambling, tobacco or weaponry.

In addition to his business interests, he and his wife, Lady Betty, established and funded the Souter Charitable Trust to support projects helping to alleviate human suffering.

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