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Halfords buys Tredz and Wheelies

Looks to strengthen online offering

Halfords has paid £18.4m for the joint business of Tredz and Wheelies plus an additional payment in 2017 which will depend on performance. Both firms sell bikes, parts, accessories and clothing online, while Wheelies is also the UK's largest provider of replacement bikes for insurance companies.

BikeBiz reports that the two businesses together employ 250 people and generated an annual profit of £2.4m last year on sales of £32m. Both will continue to trade under their current names and will be led by group managing direct Keith Jones, who founded Wheelies as a bike shop in Swansea with his brother Michael in 1989. Tredz was launched as a separate e-commerce operation in 2005.

Jones said: “We are very proud of the businesses that we’ve grown from a single shop over 25 years ago into a strong operator. However, the time has come for us to seek a partner to provide new investment and Halfords are exactly what we were looking for."

Halfords is cycling retail market leader in the UK with an estimated 20 to 25 per cent share. CEO Jill McDonald said the firm continued to believe in the long-term growth potential of the cycling market and said: “We believe this is a strong and complementary addition to the group, extending our presence in the online market for premium bikes, parts, accessories and clothing."

Earlier this year, online cycling retailers Wiggle and Chain Reaction announced they were to merge. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says it has begun an inquiry into whether the deal could lead to a "substantial lessening of competition" and suppliers of bikes and parts and accessories are being surveyed for their views.

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