Amazon and Nike exploring Peloton takeover

General view of the Peloton studios in New York.

Home fitness firm Peloton Interactive is turning the heads of potential buyers such as e-commerce giant Amazon and sports brand Nike, reports say.

Peloton is deciding whether to accept any bids, according to the reports.

Sales of its exercise bikes and treadmills soared during the pandemic as people stayed at home but demand has slowed after lockdowns were eased.

The company has also faced a number of other challenges in recent months, sending its shares sharply lower.

Amazon declined to confirm or deny whether it is considering making an offer for the US exercise equipment maker. “We don’t comment on rumours and speculation,” a spokesperson said. Peloton and Nike did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The firm’s shares surged in extended trading after the reports first emerged. The once-stock market favourite has seen its shares slump in recent months, losing more than 80% of its value in the last year. As the pandemic saw gyms close in 2020 demand for Peloton’s exercise equipment and remote workout classes jumped, sending its share price soaring.

However, as lockdowns eased the appetite for its bikes and treadmills has dwindled. In August, the firm cut the price of its flagship bike by 20% to $1,495 (£1,105), as it revealed that its losses had widened and revenue growth had slowed.

In the same month the US Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security said they were investigating the company after a child was pulled under one of its treadmills and killed, while other customers had reported injuries.

In November, Peloton warned investors that it expected revenue to slow in the year ahead.

“The primary drivers of our reduced forecast are a more pronounced tapering of demand related to the ongoing opening of the economy, and a richer than anticipated mix of sales to our original bike,” it said in a recent letter to shareholders.

Last month, investment firm Blackwells Capital called for Peloton’s chief executive John Foley to be removed from his post and the business to be put up for sale.

Peloton and its customer base are “extremely attractive” to companies like Nike, Apple, Disney and Sony, that are looking to boost their presence in the home, health and wellness and media spaces, Blackwells said in a letter to Peloton’s board.

The company also made headlines after two television dramas, the Sex and the City Revival, And Just Like That and Billions, featured story lines in which characters suffered heart attacks while using Peloton bikes. Peloton is due to publish its second quarter earnings on Tuesday.

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