UK Cycle Giant Halfords Buy Out Boardman
REDDITCH, UK – Bike and car parts retail giant Halfords UK recently acquired Olympic champion Chris Boardman’s bike company. UK media reports suggest a price of between GBP 10m (euro 12.5m) and GBP 20m (euro 25m) was paid for Boardman Bikes, though Halfords have refused to confirm this.
Halfords currently sell about 50,000 bikes a year in the Boardman Performance Series of road, mountain and hybrid bikes, priced at GBP 500 (euro 630) and GBP 1,800 (euro 2,260). Since its inception in 2007 the Performance Series have been available exclusively via Halfords. Boardman’s Elite Series, ridden by UK triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, are only available in independent cycle shops.
Remains on the board of the company
The bike’s sales success is underpinned by Boardman’s own racing career; at the 1992 Olympics he won gold, held the Tour de France yellow jersey three times and broke the fabled hour record. He remains on the board of the company he created as chairman and design director and commented “This step will take the brand to the next level and their backing will allow us to further develop our research and development and extend our ranges.”
Halfords is traditionally known in the UK for its offerings at the budget end of the cycle market and the buyout, according to Chief Executive Matt Davies: “Demonstrates our growing position as a specialist cycling retailer.”
Both Boardman bikes and those from fellow female Olympian Victoria Pendleton helped underpin Halfords 8% sales growth last year.