Evans Cycles has changed hands for a figure believed to be in the region of £100 million. Active Private Equity had bought the company back in 2008 and it likely to have more than doubled its purchased cost in that period, during which the company has grown from 30 to more than 50 shops.
Evans has been acquired by a private equity firm called ECI Partners, but the management team will retain a stake in the ongoing business, which employs over 1000, about a quarter of whom are mechanics. The company traces its history to a Kennington Road, South East London bike shop of F.W. Evans Cycles, before opening first franchises, which were subsequently brought under the company umbrella as branches, and setting up a mail order catalogue.
ECI say that they specialise in partnering with high-growth companies and has experience of backing business in the online consumer space. George Moss, Partner at ECI, said “Evans Cycles is a leading multi-channel retailer focused on the attractive and growing cycling market. As consumers look to lead increasingly healthy lifestyles and their shopping habits become ever more sophisticated, we believe Evans is well placed for further growth. We very much look forward to working with the Evans team to help realise the company’s full potential.”
Nick Wilkinson, CEO of Evans Cycles, who will remain in post, added “As a brand, we work hard to enhance our customer’s enjoyment of cycling – from expert advice and ongoing support to organising rides and events. Today’s announcement marks the start to an exciting new phase in our journey. It will enable us to deliver our brand promise in new ways and to more people. Active has been a very supportive partner, and pivotal in getting Evans Cycles to where it is today; we are very much looking forward to working with ECI Partners.”
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