Wiggle cleared to merge with Chain Reaction Cycles

New combined business to be worth £300m

UPDATE 30/6/16: Online retailers Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles have received merger approval from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. The new company will be called WiggleCRC.

It will be chaired by Brian McBride and managed by Stefan Barden, as Chief Executive Officer. Chris Watson, currently Managing Director of Chain Reaction Cycles, will sit on the board and will be a significant shareholder.

Barden said: “Together, Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles’ first class team of sports enthusiasts and strong heritage and expertise in cycling, running, swimming and tri-sports, will form the foundations for building a global champion.” 

Previous coverage follows below...

Update: 12/02/2016 14:40 Both companies have now confirmed that they are to merge. The transaction, which is subject to a number of regulatory approvals, including merger control clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will amount to a business with a combined revenue in excess of £300m.

The full press release is below:

Merger to create global champion

Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles announce today that they are to merge to further strengthen their position in the global online retailing world of cycling, running, swimming and triathlon (tri-sports) products and accessories. The transaction is subject to a number of regulatory approvals, including merger control clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Together the combined business will be able to supply a broader offering and a stronger platform with which to attract new brands and compete in the wider cycling and accessories market. Financially, the combined business will have revenues in excess of £300m.

 Stefan Barden, Chief Executive Officer of Wiggle, said: “In the global online retailing market in which we operate, there is a compelling industrial logic for our two businesses to come together to become a stronger force. We have long respected Chain Reaction Cycles as a business and share its values and commitment to delivering the best possible price and first class service for its customers. Like us they have a deep seated love of cycling. The combined business will offer all customers an extended range of brands and products, with Wiggle’s strength in tri-sports and road cycling complemented by Chain Reaction Cycles’ strength in mountain biking, BMX and road cycling too. The deal propels Wiggle faster towards its objective of building a global online champion and a major British export success story.”

Chris Watson, Managing Director of Chain Reaction Cycles, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for the Chain Reaction Cycles brand. Since the business started in 1984, we’ve grown strongly from our mountain bike origins in Northern Ireland to meet the needs of more MTB, BMX and road cyclists across more countries. Coming together with Wiggle is a great way to continue that growth, as a global force in cycling and a leader in technology, eCommerce and innovation.”

Original article...

UK-based online bike shop Wiggle looks set to acquire its main retail rival Chain Reaction Cycles, according to an article from bike retail industry publication BikeBiz.

The report goes on to predict that the sale is  'highly likely' to take place next week.

Historically, both firms have battled head to head and, should this prove to be correct,  it'll be one of the most significant acquisitions of recent times in the industry.

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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