London-based private equity house Encore Capital has invested in online bicycle accessory retailer Pro Bike Kit (PBK, trading as probikekit.com.
The level of investment, which was announced days before Christmas, hasn’t been disclosed.
From its Cumbria HQ, PBK has sold bicycle accessories, parts and clothing since it was established in 1998. According to a statement, the business is profitable, has shown impressive growth and is forecast to deliver sales of £20m in 2012.
Encore has appointed Steve Robinson as chairman to work alongside the current management team. Previously, Robinson was CEO of online clothing discounter M and M Direct, during which time revenue grew from £60m to £115m in a three year period. Before that he was CEO of Tesco Direct, responsible for its launch in 2006.
“I could instantly see the potential of PBK," said Robinson. "The brand has a fantastic reputation amongst serious road bikers. The team has significant experience and depth and the support of a decisive, ambitious and well-funded investor, will assist PBK, both financially and strategically, to strengthen its market position and take advantage of increasing international opportunities.”
Partner of Encore Capital Khilan Dodhia added: “We are delighted to have made an investment in a business we have tracked for some time. Road biking is a fast growing leisure pursuit and the online channel represents a scalable way of addressing an increasingly global customer base. Steve’s experience in growing and building out a high growth online retail business will complement the significant domain knowledge of the team at PBK.”