Portsmouth's WiggleCRC becomes second largest online bike retailer in the world after being bought by Signa Sports United

A BIKE retailer that started with a single shop in Portsmouth has become the second largest bike retailer in the world after it was snapped up by a German-based sports company.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 3:19 pm
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/06/2018 - Cycling - 2018 OVO Energy Women's Tour - Stage 2, Rushden to Daventry - Elisa Longo Borghini of Wiggle High5 leads the riders up Newnham Hill.
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/06/2018 - Cycling - 2018 OVO Energy Women's Tour - Stage 2, Rushden to Daventry - Elisa Longo Borghini of Wiggle High5 leads the riders up Newnham Hill.

Signa Sports United, based in Berlin, has bought WiggleCRC, which is made up of Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles, for an undisclosed amount.

The firm will now list on the US stock market through an agreement with Yucaipa Acquisition Corporation, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company led by chairman and president Ron Burkle and CFO and COO Ira Tochner.

Wiggle, which has its head offices in North Harbour, Lakeside, started as Butler Cycles in 1999, before seeing exceptional growth.

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It become WiggleCRC in 2016 when it merged with Chain Reaction Cycles, combining the two largest companies in the UK online cycle retail market.

It is currently owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint, which bought the firm in 2011, and employs more than 1,000 people in its offices in Portsmouth and Northern Ireland.

Earlier this year WiggleCRC was listed as the eight largest privately-owned business in the Solent area with £311m of sales in 2019 in the Solent 250, a report compiled by HSBC UK on behalf of The Business Magazine

However, this latest move will see it become one of the world’s largest pure-play sports e-commerce and technology platform companies in the world, with expected net revenues of approximately $1.6bn this financial year.

Stephan Zoll, CEO of SSU, said: ‘We're proud and excited by this next chapter in SSU's growth story. Becoming a listed company allows us to continue capturing market share in Europe and to accelerate our U.S. and international expansion while scaling our platform solutions.

‘We also look forward to welcoming WiggleCRC to our SSU family. The acquisition enhances our global online leadership especially in the bike category. Our focus on growth and internationalization coupled with our platform approach drives significant scale benefits.’

Ron Burkle, chairman and president of Yucaipa, said: ‘SSU is a global leader in the fastest-growing sports categories and is well-positioned for continued success as a public company.

‘With its technology platform - and a combination of scale, international growth and profitability – we expect SSU to grow its leadership positions and accelerate its global expansion. We look forward to becoming shareholders and partnering closely with the talented SSU team on this exciting journey.’

The firm will now serve more than seven million active customers, 1,000+ brand partners, more than 500 connected retail stores, and more than 15 million sports community users globally.

WiggleCRC was approached for comment.

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