Polaris pays cash for French maker of quadricycles, commercial vehicles

Publish Date: 
Apr 11, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Polaris today announced the acquisition of Aixam Mega, a privately owned company based in Aix-les-Bains, France, that manufactures and sells enclosed on-road quadricycles and light-duty commercial vehicles in Europe.

Polaris stated that the acquisition “significantly strengthens” Polaris’ existing small-vehicle portfolio, which includes GEM and Goupil vehicles, and “enhances the profitability and growth potential of Polaris in the EMEA region.”

“Aixam Mega is an excellent fit with Polaris and offers a unique opportunity for us to expand our small-vehicle platform and accelerate international growth,” said Scott Wine, Polaris chairman and CEO. “We are committed to positioning Polaris as a global leader in the growing small-vehicle market, and this investment reaffirms Polaris’ commitment to building a global business capable of delivering long-term, profitable growth. Consistent with our recently announced plan to build a new manufacturing facility in Opole, Poland, the Aixam Mega business acquisition is indicative of our confidence in EMEA to be a contributor to Polaris’ pursuit of productivity, innovation and growth.”

Aixam Mega designs, manufactures and sells both passenger and light-duty commercial quadricycles under the Aixam and Mega brands.

Aixam Mega’s quadricycles are four-wheeled, on-road enclosed vehicles characterized by their light weight, low speed and ability, in many countries, to be operated without a full automobile driver’s license. The Aixam brand offers a range of diesel-fueled and electric passenger quadricycles, including sedan, SUV and sport styles.

The Mega brand offers electric and diesel-fueled light-duty commercial vehicles.

Founded in 1983, Aixam Mega has a history of strong financial performance and profitable growth, with about $110 million in sales in 2012 through a distribution network of more than 400 European dealers, according to Polaris.

“We’re excited about today’s announcement and the opportunity to work with a leading global company like Polaris,” said Philippe Colançon, Aixam Mega business unit president. “Joining Polaris provides us with technology, expertise and resources to make continued investments in our business, while accelerating profitable growth through new customer opportunities. We look forward not only to what we can learn from Polaris, but what we can contribute to Polaris through our expertise and experience.”

Polaris said the acquisition will be funded with cash on hand. The company did not disclose terms of the transaction but expects it to be “slightly accretive” to earnings per share in 2013 after acquisition costs.

Posted by Arlo Redwine. Photos courtesy Polaris.