Moore Large director tells local newspaper of efforts to save the company as 35,000 bikes to be auctioned

One of Moore Large’s directors has told a local newspaper of efforts to save the distributor, as details of the distributor’s stock auction have been confirmed.

This is the latest update following the news last week that the Derby-based distributor was closing its doors after more than 70 years of history.

Speaking to DerbyshireLive, director Adam Biggs told of the causes which led to the administration, as well as sharing details of attempts to save the company.

Biggs referenced the rise in bike sales during the height of the Covid pandemic, resulting in increased supply.

As supply caught up in early 2022, he estimates that there was a year’s worth of bikes arriving in the country at the same time, causing an oversupply of stock.

“That triggered significant discounts at every level by between 30% and 50%,” he explained.

During this period, customers and retailers were still buying bikes but at not at a fast enough rate to cover Moore Large’s costs.

Biggs said: “We made it to November 2022 and it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to continue so we started the process of looking for investors.”

The distributor got “very close” with a private equity firm and a deal was expected to be completed around Christmas, but the firm pulled out.

Biggs said a second investor was set to finalise a deal in early March. Despite all of the necessary legal paperwork being completed, a change in circumstances from the investor meant that deal fell through.

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A management buyout was completed in April 2022

Biggs was one of four directors who completed management buyout of Moore Large in April 2022, alongside Dale Vanderplank, Adam Garner and Andrew Walker.

The management quartet took full shareholding of the company from the Moore family, who founded and had owned the business since 1974. Retiring chairman Nigel Moore brought to an end three generations and 75 years of Moore family involvement in the bicycle business.

Biggs was keen to pay tribute to the response of staff for their loyalty and commitment after they received the news of the administration on Tuesday, March 14.

He said: “Some of them had been with Moore Large for 20 or 30 years and on the day we announced the news, the response was overwhelmingly understanding and positive. There were no signs of anger.”

Following the administration, more than £30 million worth of bikes and accessories are set to be auctioned off.

Starting this Friday, March 24, John Pye & Sons will sell the assets after being appointed by administrators, Rajnesh Mittal and Nathan Jones of FRP Advisory Trading Limited.

The stock includes an estimated 35,000 bikes, totalling around £25 million with an additional £10 million in accessories and parts. Brands expected to be sold include Forme, Barracuda, Bikerton and Cuda among others.

The auction house, which has locations in Nottingham, Chesterfield, Port Talbot and Derby, recently worked with PwC to sell Design Limited’s £30 million-plus UK stock holding.

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Charles Loake, joint head of John Pye business and property, said: “We have the systems and knowledge in place to ensure we can sell the Moore Large & Co. stock with the highest level of efficiency and return for its creditors.

“Our UK-wide footprint of close to one million sq ft of sale space and a nationwide workforce of over 700 staff ensures we can handle the largest of insolvency cases.”

Daniel Blackham

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