UPDATE 1 – Bulgaria’s Leader 96 creates 330 jobs in an e-bike factory

SOFIA (Bulgaria), Oct. 25 (SeeNews) – Bulgarian electric bicycle maker Leader 96 will create 330 jobs at its planned factory in the Trakia economic zone near Plovdiv, the Innovation Ministry announced on Tuesday.

E-Velox, which will operate the factory, is investing around 28.3 million levs ($14.4 million/€14.5 million) in the construction of the facility, the ministry said in a press release.

The total investment amounts to 50 million leva, the ministry added, confirming an earlier statement by economic zone CEO Katya Staykova to SeeNews.

The remaining sum will be used to equip the factory, Staykova clarified.

E-Velox will make 300,000 e-bikes a year, the ministry added.

The construction of the facility is almost complete, the investor is currently installing the equipment. The factory is scheduled to start operations in early 2023.

In 2021, another Bulgarian bike manufacturer, Maxcom, has partnered with Austrian motorcycle manufacturer Pierer Group to build an e-bike factory worth over 60 million leva in the Trakia economic zone.

Over the next two to three years, Maxcom and Leader 96 are expected to operate two e-bike factories each, which will help turn the economic zone into a pan-European manufacturing hub that aims to produce about 1 million e-bikes annually, Staykova added .

In July, Leader 96 announced that its e-bike factory, set to open in January 2023, will have a production capacity of over 250,000 e-bikes per year. It will stretch over 47,000 square meters and have a building area of ​​25,000 square meters, the company announced at the time.

The announcement came days after New York-based asset management firm The Rohatyn Group completed the purchase of a 60 percent stake in Leader 96 from Finnish fund manager KJK Capital, becoming a shareholder in the company alongside Dimitar Zlatanov, the Bulgarian company’s CEO and a member of its founding family .

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)

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