The Management Buy Out headed by Richard Allmark was made possible through investment from ISIS Equity Partners and funding from HSBC.
The Fisher family business was founded in 1934 by Joe Fisher who was succeeded by his son Clifford and his wife Myrtle. Their sons – Gordon and Trevor – have been working in the family firm for 34 years.
The company moved from its roots in Finchley to Enfield in 1991, and moved again in 2001 to its current base in St. Albans. The Fisher brothers developed the business into a national player in the late eighties and early nineties during the MTB boom years, acquiring distributor agreements with MET Helmets, Hollywood racks and Hamax child seats.
During the past five years Gordon and Trevor Fisher have been gradually stepping back from the day to day running of the business and said they now believe that the time is right for them to move on to new challenges.
We are pleased to be leaving the business that we have loved and nurtured for so many years in such good shape and with such a strong brand name within the industry," said Gordon Fisher.
"We would like to thank our hardworking staff, valued customers and efficient, reliable suppliers for their support, commitment and friendship. The strong bonds and relationships we have made over the years have meant so much to Trevor and me and we will treasure many happy memories of the last 34 years in the cycle trade."
Richard Allmark becomes CEO of Fisher Outdoor Leisure Ltd.
Having worked at Fisher for nearly 15 years and having been instrumental in the development of the business over the past 10 years, this MBO was without a doubt the next step for me, said Allmark.
My desire for Fisher to be the undisputed market leader in branded P&A distribution is stronger now than ever. The new Fisher will achieve great things, with our customers and suppliers benefiting from our future plans. We have a fantastic team here at Fisher, but in order to strengthen our foundations and achieve our future goals we are building a strong board with a strong retail focus – and aim to continually invest in the business to secure our future success.
The Fisher management team expands with the introduction of Iain Garden as finance and operations director and Alan Smith as chairman.
Garden has over 15 years senior management experience in the retail sector, principally within the Kingfisher Group. Latterly, he was finance director of Chartwell Land, Kingfisher’s property division, and of Time Retail Finance, its consumer credit arm. Before that he held senior commercial finance roles in Comet, Woolworths and Kingfisher head office.
Over the last 20 years, Smith has held senior management positions in a number of major retailers including being CEO of Superdrug, B & Q , Somerfield Food Stores and most recently Robert Dyas. Smith is now chairman of Floors 2 Go and a non-executive director of the airline Flybe.
Peter Watt, who led the investment on behalf of ISIS, said: Fisher was an ideal proposition for us. It is one of the leading distributors in the UK, supplying approximately 2000 out of 2,500 independent bike dealerships in the country and has excellent relationships with its customers and suppliers. Fisher is much more than a box shifter and holds a robust position in the supply chain. It works closely with suppliers to promote their products more effectively to retailers, and works closely with retailers on range planning, in-store support and technical advice. There are still gaps in its product base, which means theres plenty of scope to consolidate and grow the business still further.
THANKS AND GOOD-BYES
Richard Allmark said:
The MBO process is without doubt an emotional rollercoaster for both buyers and sellers. We are all pleased the process has finally been completed and wish Gordon and Trevor the very best with their new challenges. Theyll certainly be missed.
"I would like to thank Matt Ward for his support during this process. It would have been a far greater challenge without his help. The management team used Clearwater Corporate Finance as advisors – thanks to Nick and Marc -and Hammonds as their solicitors – thanks to Tim and Jonathan. Id like to thank them for helping us get through this in one piece.
Gordon Fisher said:
I would like to thank my advisors during the sale negotiations for their assistance, patience and understanding, especially solicitor Colin Winter and accountant Andy White, and the very hard work of Wendy Bowdler at Fisher and Hans Skeat."