Peloton weighs interest as takeover target after shares plunge
Peloton Interactive is evaluating interest from potential suitors after a plunge in the shares of the home fitness company made it a takeover target, according to people familiar with the matter.
The New York-based company is working with an adviser to explore options, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. The takeover interest is exploratory and may not lead to a transaction, they said.
Amazon.com has been speaking to advisers about a potential deal, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Nike is also considering a separate bid for Peloton, the Financial Times said. Both publications cited people familiar with the matter.
Shares of the indoor bike maker surged as much as 43% in extended trading on Friday after the Journal report.
Peloton’s stock has fallen more than 80% from the high a year ago as the gradual easing of pandemic restrictions fuelled concern that growth would slow. It is valued at just more than $8bn, based on Friday’s official market close of $24.60 — below its September 2019 initial public offering price of $29.
There is no guarantee the tech giant will follow through with an offer and other potential suitors are circling, The Wall Street Journal reported, adding that no deal is imminent. Neither Nike nor Amazon have held direct talks with Peloton, the Financial Times reported.
Amazon, Nike and Peloton declined to comment.
Peloton was a darling of the pandemic as people at home during lockdowns turned to its fitness bikes and online classes for exercise. The stock lost some of its lustre with the prospect of more people returning the office. The company’s image also took a hit in December, when HBO Max’s Sex and the City reboot killed off a Peloton-riding character.
Activist investor Blackwells Capital in January issued a letter demanding the company fire co-founder and CEO John Foley and pursue a sale. Blackwells said in the letter that potential buyers could include Apple, Walt Disney and Nike.
Amazon’s interest may be linked to its effort to gain a greater role in healthcare, as well as the potential to market to Peloton’s almost 3-million subscribers. The e-commerce giant in 2020 introduced its wearable Halo products to compete with Google-owned Fitbit and other fitness devices.
Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
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