An interim meeting of the Giant Group's Board on January 20 voted to use earnings from subsidiary Gaiwin B.V. to implement a strategic investment plan, which consisted of the investment of US$20 million in the US professional indoor cycling brand Stages Cycling, Inc. Giant has used US$6.50 million to purchase 32.5% of Stages' common stock equity, and also used US$13.5 million to purchase Stages' convertible bonds. The chief purpose of this investment is to expand the breadth of the Giant Group's strategic cycling investments, and also advance its ideal of establishing a complete cycling ecosystem.
The Stages brand was founded in 2009, and offers major products including indoor bicycles and dynamometers. It is currently one of North America's leading indoor bicycle brands. It has relied on the recent development of cloud services to establish a strong position in the indoor fitness industry, and many large fitness center chains are Stages' customers. Stages also sells dynamometers and chronometers used in outdoor cycling, and its products enjoy fine reputation among ordinary cyclists. At present, because of factors including chaotic supply chains, the post-Covid weakness in the at-home indoor fitness market, and the United States' inflation, Stages has recently performed poorly. However, the Giant Group still considers indoor cycling to be a promising long-term market, and expects that its future investments will give Stages a leg up, strengthen its operating efficiency, and boost its profitability. According to Giant's vision, the pairing of indoor and outdoor cycling equipment will provide consumers with an all-around cycling experience: Outdoor cyclists can obtain comprehensive indoor training and online classes via the cloud, while indoor fitness enthusiasts can venture into the great outdoors and enjoy the full pleasure of cycling. As a result, Giant will be able to meet consumers' need for quality indoor and outdoor cycling, as well as online and off-line service. Via the strategic alliance between Stages and Giant, the Giant Group will be able to take advantage of the two parties' strong indoor and outdoor professional cycling brands, effectively integrate the two companies' manufacturing and channel resources, and obtain optimal synergy. While enhancing the value of its products and services, Giant's investment will also help it establish a comprehensive online/off-line cycling experience ecosystem, which will let it achieve its goal of gradually improving its operating performance.