Signa Sports United, the parent to a number of Europe’s largest online cycling and sports retailers, has reportedly attracted as much as $370 million from a group of investors, the largest of which is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
The Wall Street Journal understands that, ahead of its proposed initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, the Berlin-based group has rallied around investment circles, attracting input from Japan’s SoftBank Group, as well as the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co.
The pre-IPO investor boost will solidify the group’s foundation, with the company valuation already tipped at $3.2 billion. Set to be completed by the end of the year, the IPO will go ahead with online retail giant WiggleCRC brought under the group’s wing. Alongside the UK business sits a portfolio of bike retail labels spanning Bikester, Probikeshop and Fahhrad.de.
As part of a process to accelerate its public offering Signa Sports United announced a merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Yucaipa Acquisition Corp, headed by California billionaire Ron Burkle.
SPAC vehicles are widely known as “blank cheque vehicles” and are often created with the intention of merging businesses ahead of public offerings. Previously Yucaipa has managed north of $40 billion in transactions, with a specialist focus on ‘building market leaders and industry consolidators’. Featured on the group’s presentation of prior work are the logos of Spotify, Uber and Airbnb, among others.
Signa Sports has been candid in its investor presentation about the opportunity it sees for growth into the US market where it is soon to list. While the portfolio of cycling brands carried are not known to have a singular focus on electric bikes, the buying power of the group could very quickly build a larger presence and that appears to be another avenue for boosting trade.
Last week Signa Sports United revealed a partnership with an AI-based online bike fitting tool in what it described as a “new capability (that) means biomechanics is now integrated into the shopping experience.”