Active take out majority stake in the UK's largest specialist

Evans secure major equity investment

Evans Cycles has received a major investment from Active Private Equity. Active has acquired a majority stake in the business via a combination of acquisition and growth capital. The current executives – Mike Rice, Mark Smith and Andy Terrington – bring considerable management experience and will retain their management roles, as will non-executive director Gary Smith. Gary, Mike and Mark retain very significant minority stakes in the business.

The retailer has grown significantly in the last five years, increasing its network of stores from 11 to 31 and growing its retail footprint nationwide from a traditionally London and South East Base. The new capital into the business will allow Evans Cycles to continue their store expansion momentum and at the same time invest in the infrastructure to take the business to the next level.

“It’s business as usual for us” says managing director Mike Rice, “Active are 100 per cent behind the management team, our staff and the way we operate. For our suppliers and customers there will be very little change. We are all excited about the future opportunities for Evans Cycles.

Active was introduced to the transaction by Nick Evans, who will become the Executive Chairman of the business. An active cyclist himself, Nick has an impressive track record of performance improvement at store and multi channel retailers such as Shoe City, Cotswold Outdoor, Mappin and Webb and Watches of Switzerland and also has cycling sector experience.

Nick Evans, who led the transaction on behalf of Active alongside Bryan Vaniman, said: "Evans Cycles has grown the top line impressively to become the UK’s leading specialty retailer in the cycling sector – an exciting market with strong underlying growth. The multi channel brand is well established and the sales teams provide industry leading range, knowledge and service. We are looking forward to further developing the company with the current management and shareholders."

See the May issue of BikeBiz for updates

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