ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of UK Bicycle Servicing Company Fettle Bike Repair Ltd.
January 17, 2024
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU acquired all the shares of Fettle Bike Repair Ltd.(headquartered in London, UK; Jeyda Heselton, CEO; hereinafter "Fettle") through Kwik-Fit(GB) Ltd. (hereinafter "KF"), which is controlled by ITOCHU UK subsidiary European Tyre Enterprise Limited. Through this acquisition, ITOCHU will harness Fettle's operational expertise and marketing capabilities in the bicycle servicing business and pursue the creation of synergy with KF, which is involved in the sale of car tyres and car servicing in the UK.
Fettle was founded in 2019 with the mission of revolutionising the service experience in cycling. Fettle and KF launched an operational partnership in March last year, establishing a total of three joint centres: two in London and one in Bristol in South West England. Putting the convenience of cyclists first, the operational partnership has achieved high levels of customer satisfaction through unique expertise and outstanding services, and continues to grow.
In the UK, people's environmental awareness is increasing, and action on climate change is accelerating. With the development of cycle lanes and tighter environmental regulations in line with UK government policy, bike sharing schemes, chiefly in urban areas, are becoming more widespread, and a rapidly increasing number of businesses use fleets of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes for 'last mile' delivery and service solutions.
Leveraging KF's service centres across the UK, Fettle and KF will build a reliable service network, focusing not only on services for individual cyclists but also on servicing for business customers. Meanwhile, cycle manufacturers are increasingly selling directly to consumers online, and for them, partnering with a bicycle servicing and repair provider with a UK-wide network is a strong proposition that will enhance support for customers. By tapping into such growing demand for servicing and other aftersales services in the mobility market, Fettle and KF will accelerate their business expansion.
ITOCHU’s targets laid out in its medium-term management plan are realizing business transformation by shifting to a market-oriented perspective and enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities. Through the acquisition of Fettle, ITOCHU aims to contribute to the realization of social systems that have a low environmental impact and the development of a sustainable society by meeting demand for the repair of diversified means of transportation and servicing of increasingly diverse means of transportation and building a network for after-sales services in the mobility market.
Established in 1971, the Kwik-Fit Group is one of the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialists in the world. The Kwik-Fit Group boasts 720 service centres across the UK, as well as a nationwide fleet of mobile tyre fitting vehicles, and specialises in tyres, brakes, exhausts, MOT and servicing.
KF also has four dedicated regional training academies for car mechanics called Kwik Fit Training Academy in the UK as a means of tackling the country's shortage of service technicians. By including the servicing of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes in the training provided by these academies in the future, KF will contribute to the realization of a society in which people can drive and cycle with peace of mind.