SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 25 (SeeNews) – Bulgarian electric bicycle manufacturer Leader 96 is investing 50 million levs ($25.2 million/25.6 million euro) in a new production plant in Trakia economic zone, near the country’s second-largest city of Plovdiv, the economic zone’s CEO Katya Staykova told SeeNews on Tuesday.
The factory will be run by Leader 96’s majority-owned subsidiary E-Velox, Staykova told SeeNews in a telephone interview. The planned investment covers the construction works and equipment installation.
The construction of the plant is nearly completed, with the investor currently installing the equipment. The factory is expected to start operations in early 2023.
In 2021, another Bulgarian bicycle manufacturer, Maxcom, teamed up with Austrian motorcycle producer Pierer Group to build an e-bike factory worth over 60 million levs in the Trakia economic zone.
In the next two to three years, Maxcom and Leader 96 are set to operate two e-bike factories each, which will help make the economic zone a pan-European production hub, with some 1 million e-bikes to be produced annually, Staykova added.
In July, Leader 96 said its factory for e-bikes due to open in January 2023 will have a production capacity of over 250,000 e-bikes per year. It will spread over 47,000 sq m and will have a built-up area of 25,000 sq m, the company said at the time.
The announcement came days after New York-based asset management firm The Rohatyn Group completed the purchase of a 60% stake in Leader 96 from Finnish fund manager KJK Capital, becoming a stakeholder in the company alongside Dimitar Zlatanov, the Bulgarian company’s CEO and member of its founding family.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)