UK-based fans of affordable bikes and cycling gear can rejoice this evening, as Planet X says its future has been "secured" following its sale to a West Yorkshire retailer backed by private equity.
A first Gazette Notice listed on Companies' House followed by an open High Court case that stated Planet X CEO Richard Mostyn-Jones had filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator led to fears that the business wouldn't survive; however, since then, compulsory strike-off action was discontinued and Planet X has been sold to Winlong Garments Limited according to its statement, with all 33 jobs at Planet X secured. Winlong Garments Limited is funded by Baaj Capital LLP.
Planet X said in a statement: "The Company had performed strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, but had since experienced a dampening of demand. The impact of this on cash flow, coupled with supply chain issues, prompted the directors to explore sale, refinance and investment options.
"Following a seven week sales process that generated significant trade and financial investor interest, the business and assets were sold via a pre-pack transaction to Winlong Garments Limited. Howard Smith and Rick Harrison from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to the Company prior to the transaction completing.
"All of the Company’s 33 employees have transferred to the purchaser as part of the sale."
Mostyn-Jones said: “I am delighted to have secured the future of Planet X and the team here, with this transaction. Baaj Capital is a very entreprenurial organistion with vision and values aligned with our own. We look forward to further building on our heritage and expertise and continuing to supply the cycling community both here in the UK and across the globe.”
As Planet X alluded to, the pandemic saw a surge in demand for all things bike, with supply chain issues exacerbating historically low levels of stock due to the rush.
As retailers, distributors and manufacturers tried to replenish stock, demand slowed and has yet to pick up fully going into the second half of 2023, leading to cashflow issues and overstock in some parts of the bike industry. It has led to the downfall of UK distributors Moore Large and 2Pure, plus many other bike businesses worldwide.
Founded in Sheffield and now based in Rotherham, Planet X designs and builds its own bikes under house brand names such as Holdsworth, Titus and On-One, and also sells bike clothing, accessories and components.
Howard Smith, managing director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, added: “Planet X has grown over the years to become a well-respected and well-loved name in the cycling community, so we’re pleased to have been able to conclude this transaction which will see the business continue to trade and, importantly, which safeguards the jobs of the Company’s workforce. We wish management and the new owners all the very best for the future.”
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.