Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group set to acquire ProBikeKit, according to reports

The Frasers Group, founded by well-known high street tycoon Mike Ashley, is in advanced talks to buy online retailer ProBikeKit (PBK), according to multiple sources.

Sky News is reporting that The Frasers Group, which also owns Sports Direct and Evans Cycles among others, could be set to finalise a deal later this week.

Any deal is expected to see the Frasers Group buying the stock and intellectual property assets of PBK from THG.

PBK was founded in the 1990s and was purchased by THG in 2013, adding the company to its OnDemand portfolio with brands like Myprotein.

In April, PBK looked set to close after THG, announced the discontinuation of OnDemand, one of its lifestyle divisions that PBK was a part of.

In January, THG confirmed it was reviewing “loss-making categories and territories within the THG OnDemand division”, which resulted in 180 jobs being put at risk in Greater Manchester.

A THG spokesperson said: “Following a strategic review of our OnDemand division, as announced in THG’s trading update of January 17 2023, we can confirm that we are proposing to discontinue operations in the OnDemand division across all sites. We are currently consulting with impacted colleagues and will take steps to minimise the number of redundancies.

“We are also consulting with certain colleagues in THG Studios where, following the closure of OnDemand, we expect associated workflow to reduce proportionately. THG is committed to supporting all affected colleagues and, where possible, we will endeavour to find colleagues alternate roles within the wider THG Group.”

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In recent weeks, PBK has been running a warehouse clearance on its website with discounts on cycling accessories, components and clothing across multiple disciplines.

Hopes of saving PBK looked to be reducing when takeover talks between THG and US private equity firm Apollo ended after the two parties were unable to agree on a valuation.

This news will provide some respite to an industry which has already seen Moore Large enter administration and fellow distributor 2Pure appointing administrators in the last two months.

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