St.Albans-based distributor Fisher Outdoors has been acquired by rival distributor Zyro.
The distributor, one of the UK’s largest, has been trading since 1934 and grew through three generations of family until a private equity backed buyout in 2006. Since then the business has grown to boast sales in excess of £32 million annually.
The joining of forces will see the firm become Zyro-Fisher, a partnership that will target the UK and Irish markets and now creates a group with combined sales surpassing £70 million.
A consolidation is proposed for Zyro’s purpose built Darlington facility.
Matthew Barker, a director of Zyro for the past four years, is appointed as Zyro-Fisher CEO and will continue to be supported by James Browning, as Chairman of Zyro-Fisher, as well as Simon and Julie Ellison, as Directors of Zyro-Fisher and the wider Zyro and Fisher teams.
John Garner and Ben Snow of LDC (part of the Lloyds Banking Group), who backed the management buyout, will also join the board.
Simon Ellison said: “We are very excited about the future of the combined business; it brings together a very powerful portfolio of brands, while the separate sales and brand management structure will ensure we continue to offer the best brand and customer focus in the industry.”
James Browning said: “Our industry is clearly entering a consolidation phase and I am delighted with the combination of these two strong and complementary companies to create a scale player able to offer future-proof service and solutions to its partners.”
Matthew Barker said: “In the rapidly developing cycling market, the combination of Zyro and Fisher will ensure we maximise the potential of our brand partners and provide exceptional support and service to our customers.”
Back in 2014 long time managing director Richard Allmark was succeeded by James Browning, a cyclist himself with high-level distribution experience.
With 24 brands under its management, the firm has in recent times scored some successes with label such as Early Rider, among others, which has been gonged with Eurobike Awards.
John Garner, Head of LDC Yorkshire & North East, added: “This is an exciting development for the combined business, its brand partners and its customers, creating a company with a truly differentiated proposition in terms of scale, reach and value-added services. Together, the board and management team bring an unrivaled level of expertise, which will help to deliver a clear growth strategy in an evolving sector.”