There is more money than ever looking to purchase bicycle industry companies and, following the recent sale of Canyon, it appears that Wiggle, the global mail order company that does significant business in Australia, might be next.
Financial media giant Bloomberg has reported that Wiggle could be in the sights of acquisition specialists as part of a deal that would see German online retail giant Signa Sports United GmbH go public.
The speculation arose as part of talks between Signa Sports United and special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Yucaipa Acquisition Corp. This proposed ‘blank cheque’ merger could create a US$4 billion (A$5.2 billion) company that those reportedly familiar with the talks suggest may come to include a bid for the cycling and triathlon e-tail giant.
At this stage Bridgepoint-owned Wiggle has declined to comment, but the rumours do come at a time when investors are circling key bike industry players like never before. In a recent interview with CyclingIndustry.News, the ‘bike bankers’ who organised the buyout of Canyon by Grope Bruxelles Lambert in December of 2020 explained that cycling and in particular electric bikes, are now seen in the investment community as ticking a series of boxes on environment, transport, technology and more, thus making an attractive list of ingredients for investment.
Signa Sports United (SSU), not to be confused with cycling e-tailer Sigma Sports, is a German online retail giant covering a plethora of sporting markets, including cycling for which it runs specialist websites; these include ProBikeShop, Bikester and Fahrradd.de. It also has house brands under the Ortler, Serious, Fixie Inc. and Votec labels, among others. The group is backed by Rene Benko, a notable Austrian property businessman.
Overall the SSU portfolio attracts four million active customers annually and 200 million visitors to its site catalogue. The group records north of €1 billion (A$1.58 billion) in profitable online sales and has a compound annual growth rate north of an impressive 30%, according to its corporate site. More than 500 retail store partners are connected to the group.
Wiggle has just recruited a new CEO from within with Huw Crwys-Williams now at the helm.
This article was first published in Cycling Industry News (UK)