Lavoie buys VanMoof, giving the e-bike maker a bankruptcy liferaft

The electric scooter brand and parent McLaren Applied will 'inject stability' into VanMoof's operations.

Mat Smith/Engadget

Just over a month after it declared bankruptcy, e-bike maker VanMoof has found a new home. Lavoie, the electric scooter division of McLaren Applied, has agreed to buy VanMoof and make investments in it to grow the business. According to a press release, Lavoie and its parent plan to "inject stability into the VanMoof operations" before bringing together their "capabilities to create a next-generation e-mobility business and establish a world-leading premium e-mobility offering."

Terms of the acquisition haven't been disclosed, but Lavoie and McLaren Applied appear to have a reasonable understanding of the challenge that lies ahead to get VanMoof back on track. McLaren Applied Chairman Nick Fry told Reuters that VanMoof is "a company with a brilliant product" that offers his team an opportunity in a new market, "but this is not going to be a walk in the park. This also is a company that got itself into a difficult financial situation." Fry noted that McLaren Applied would need to invest "tens of millions" of pounds "in the short term" to stabilize VanMoof.

Lavoie CEO Eliott Wertheimer pointed out that VanMoof has more than 190,000 e-bike customers, some of whom have been struggling to obtain parts for repairs after production was suspended. Lavoie's goal is to "continue to keep those riders on the road whilst we stabilize and efficiently grow the VanMoof business and continue to develop its world-class products.” However, there will be layoffs as part of the acquisition. VanMoof will also shift away from an in-house retail store model to instead sell and service bikes via third-party partners. Peloton has made a similar shift in its business model over the last year or so.