Peloton – one of the biggest players in the booming indoor training market – appears to be attracting interest from potential buyers, including Amazon and Nike, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
The market for indoor cycling, and associated apps, ballooned during Covid lockdowns – but has been volatile. Although peaking at a $50bn valuation, Peloton’s fortunes have been spiky, and the share price has dropped considerably since those heights.
After the Wall Street Journal published the rumour on Friday last week that Amazon might be interested as a potential buyer, Peloton’s shares went on to jump 30% in after-hours trading.
Subsequently, an Amazon spokesperson told the BBC: “We don’t comment on rumours and speculation”.
With Pelton’s market value falling to less than $8bn this week, If Amazon did go ahead with the purchase, the amount spent wouldn’t be without precedent. So far Amazon’s biggest acquisition was the grocery chain Whole Foods, which it bought for $13.7bn in 2017.
But although the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon has been speaking to advisers about a potential deal, that’s not to say the brand will follow up with an offer – or even that Peloton would accept one should it be made.
To companies wanting to plunge their fingers more deeply into the indoor-training-pie, the behemoth that Peloton has become must be a tempting prize. However, the brand has not been short of controversy.
In May of last year, two of Peloton’s treadmill models were recalled after reports of dozens of injuries and the death of a child.
In November, an investor warning was issued that revenues were expected to slow, facing tougher competition from reopening gyms and competitors offering similar products at lower prices. The response was a swift slide in the share price.
More recently, the negative publicity has centred around TV dramas featuring storylines with characters suffering heart attacks while using its bikes, with Sex and the City and Billions being the culprits there.