UPDATE: The firm has now issued a statement confirming the deal is in progress and that the businesses will remain two different operations once complete.
If permitted by competition authorities, the deal would create a business with pro forma revenues totaling around £500 million. Bike 24’s addition would also increase the firm’s international sales from around 52% to around 60% of trade.
Harvey Bennett, Wiggle’s Group Chief Marketing And Sales Officer has also shut down rumours of the closure of the Chain Reaction’s Belfast store, telling CI.N: “We have just refurbished some of the shop fittings and continue to support the store and some local Belfast clubs. I am aware that the stock is a bit patchy in the shop at the moment and we are working on improving that situation!”
Just a year on from its purchase of Chain Reaction Cycles, the Bridgepoint-backed online retailer is reported to have over £100 million ready for the deal. If successful, the new investment should generate revenues of more than €85 million, largely stemming from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Increasingly an overseas business, European and rest of world sales have driven the firm’s progress, accounting for £40 million (up 21%) and £62 million (up 44%), respectively.
In recent financials, Wiggle blamed losses experienced over the past 12 months on significant investments, stating: “The merger with CRC, the significant equity investment, the developing FX position, the payback on completed investments and the continued support of customers and suppliers underlines WiggleCRC’s position as a major global force in tri-sports, cycles and cycle apparel.”
The firm is moving to recoup its investment and has recently placed on the market Chain Reaction’s former Ballyclare warehouse.
The business now has over 2.2 million active customers in over 70 countries with over 50% of its sales outside the UK. Bike 24 is active in the cycle, run and swimming markets, as well as offering indoor training kit.
Coming just 24 hours after CyclingIndustry.News broke the news that sports tycoon Mike Ashley has plunged his significant wealth into online triathlon giant Tri UK, the world of online bike retail appears to be taking on a new shape.