Fast-Growing MN Bike Co. Dero Bought by TN Firm

Dero, which reportedly grew 29 percent between 2006 and 2010, will continue day-to-day operations at its Minneapolis headquarters.

Dero Bike Rack Company—which has been lauded as one of the nation’s fastest-growing inner-city businesses and one of the best places to work—has been acquired by a Tennessee company.
The buyer, Chattanooga-based PlayCore Holdings, Inc., recently announced the purchase, the financial terms of which were not disclosed.
Dero designs, manufactures, and supplies bicycle parking and transit items, including bike racks, lockers, shelters, and custom bike storage products. (It uses a coating that allows custom designs and logos to be incorporated into products’ finishes.)
PlayCore, meanwhile, designs, manufactures, and markets various play and recreation products. Dero will become part of its EverActive Brands division, but day-to-day operations will continue to take place at Dero’s Minneapolis office and manufacturing facility. PlayCore said that its EverActive Brands management team is located in Mendota Heights.
“We are excited about the opportunity to reach new markets and expand our bike storage solutions offering to new customers,” Dero CEO Hans Steege said in a prepared statement.
Dero, founded in 1995, in May ranked 52nd on Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 fastest-growing inner-city businesses in the country. Companies were ranked based on their average annual revenue growth rates over a five-year period-from 2006 to 2010. According to the list, Dero’s growth rate was 29 percent, and its 2010 revenue totaled $5.5 million.
Last month, Dero also appeared on Outside magazine’s list of the country’s 100 “Best Places to Work.” Ranking sixth, Dero reportedly encourages its employees to bike to work and to meetings around town; in fact, employees earn an extra $3 each day they ride to work. Company outings include rolling tours of Twin Cities pubs, laser tag, ski trips, and Twins games.
PlayCore is a unit of Irving Place Capital, a New York-based private equity firm.