LONDON, UK – “Cycling Is the New Golf. Middle-aged men and women have decided that they are better off spending three or four hours on their bike than hitting a little white ball around a fairway.” This comment is made by Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of Isis Equity Partners; owner of Wiggle. He considers to float the UK based online bike retailer as cycling increases in popularity.
According to a recent article published in the renowned UK newspaper The Guardian; the growing interest in cycling is spurring Wiggle’s growth. The company’s 2010/2011 turnover in the year to 31 January, reached GBP 86.8m (100.9m euro) and more than quadrupled in the last five years. Profits surged 43% to GBP 10.2m (11.9m euro) in 2010/2011.
The article in The Guardian notes: “Even without the buzz generated by high-profile wins such as Mark Cavendish's recent triumph in the world championships road race, the sport has a growing amateur fan base with sportives – cycling competitions – popular fixtures. Britons are also queuing up to compete in triathlons, with last month's event in London, which attracted 13,000 entrants, the world's largest.”
All this prompts owner Isis Equity Partners to consider to sell the cycling online retailer. The estimated price tag is GBP 200 million (232.5m euro). Next to the sale Isis CEO Humphrey Cobbold is also contemplating on an IPO. He acquired a stake for GBP 12m (14.0m euro) in Wiggle in 2006. At that time the business was valued at nearly GBP 30m (34.9m euro).
At www.wiggle.co.uk the online retailer offers, among others, Giant, Felt and Dedacciai bikes as we all Oakley and Nike accessories. Last July Wiggle had free delivery throughout Europe for its customers. The company ships to 80 countries worldwide and has eight different versions of the Wiggle website available for customers: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese.