Online retailer speaks out following £180 million sale

Wiggle: ‘Bridgepoint sees huge potential in the business’

Bridgepoint, owner of the Fat Face chain and HobbyCraft, bought online cycling and triathlon retail giant Wiggle last month.

Wiggle’s cycle marketing manager told BikeBiz: “All staff at Wiggle have worked so tremendously hard over the past couple of years and this hard work has evidentially paid off."

Paying around £180 million, plus a further £20 million contingent consideration, the price equates to around 12 to 13 times the earnings before interest, tax and depreciation. It is believed several private equity groups and trade buyers were interested in Wiggle, though Bridgepoint, chaired by former Asda chief executive Andy Bond, was largely considered the favourite for the takeover. Wiggle chief executive Humphrey Cobbold is likely to remain on the board and to re-invest in the business.

Wiggle’s cycle marketing manager contined: "The signatures have barely dried on the paper work, so changes may come that we have no visibility on as of yet, which you’d expect with a new owner.

"There will be a few management shuffles, but it’s not a case of people leaving. Indeed, the opposite. Humphrey Cobbold (CEO) and Andy Bond (non-exec) are both staying with the business and investing their own cash. I’m certainly seeing this as confidence-inspiring as it’s clear they both see huge potential in the business and I can vouch for Humphrey Cobbold’s passion for both Wiggle and bikes. Changes will come, but it can only be a good thing for all involved.”

Despite experiencing strong international growth for over three years, Bridgepoint are expected to continue to develop exports, which already reach 88 countries.

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