Online cycling retailer Wiggle for sale

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 | BUSINESS SALE

Wiggle the online cycling retailer popular with a rising league of ‘mamils’ – middle-aged men in Lycra – is for sale for £200 million.

Second round bids are due for Wiggle on 28 November. It is expected that Pret a Manger owner Bridgepoint; Advent, the firm behind DFS; and EQT the Swedish buy-out firm will place bids. It is thought an unnamed trade bidder from overseas is also involved in the sale process.

Rothschild has been brought in to manage the sale of Wiggle, which is currently majority owned by private equity company Isis and chairman Andy Bond, former chief executive of Asda and an avid cycling fan.

The firm has benefited from the emergence of scores of middle-aged men more interested in travelling on bikes under their own steam than in fast cars. Its revenues rose by 55 per cent in 2010 to £86 million, while its profits sit above £10 million.

Founded in 1999 and based in Portsmouth, the firm sells several types of bikes and cycling paraphernalia including special cycling clothing, helmets, and tools for maintenance to customers in 80 countries.

Investment bank UBS has also been appointed to run a potential flotation for Wiggle next year.

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