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German online retail giant to mount bid for Wiggle?

Signa Sports United, owner of websites including Fahrradd.de, Bikester and ProBikeShop reportedly mulling bid

Wiggle could reportedly be the subject of a bid by German online retailer Signa Sports United, owner of a number of sports-related websites including, in cycling, Fahrradd.de, Bikester and ProBikeShop.

Speculation that Signa Sports United, not to be confused with the UK retailer Sigma Sports, could be looking to mount a takeover of Wiggle, which is owned by the private equity firm Bridgepoint were first reported by financial website Bloomberg earlier this month.

However, the news seems to have flown under the radar of the UK cycling media, including road.cc, until being picked up earlier this week by Cycling Industry News.

The rumoured bid has its roots in talks between Signa Sports United and a special purpose acquisition company named (SPAC) Yucaipa Acquisition Corp.

If that deal came to fruition, it would create a $4 billion business that would have the financial clout to mount a bid for Wiggle, according to Bloomberg.

Both Signa Sports United and Wiggle declined to comment on the Bloomberg report – which, in the absence of an outright denial by one or both parties is often a sign that discussions may indeed be taking place.

Moreover the speculation comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has led to a boom in the cycling industry and, as Cycling Industry News points out, follows a wave of takeovers of businesses within the sector that has continued over the past year.

Earlier this month Wiggle, which recently appointed Huw Crwys-Williams as its new CEO, said that it had seen bike sales double over the past year, with particularly strong growth in e-bikes.

> Bike sales more than double at Wiggle over past year

In 2017 Wiggle, which had merged with Chain Reaction Cycles the previous year, consolidated its position in the German market through the acquisition of etailer Bike24 in a deal reportedly worth in excess of £100 million.

The business was sold back to the previous owner in 2019 (h/t Ciaran Handley for the clarification).

> Wiggle buys German e-commerce site Bike24

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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8 comments

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CStar | 2 years ago
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Would be worried about this but I gave up on Wiggle a couple of years ago when they ran out of stock. They don't actually seem to have had any stock in anormal size since and every time I search for something advertised on the site there's no stock available. So Signa better check that they are actually buying something or just an empty warehouse  3 A real shame as they used to be so good.

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brooksby | 2 years ago
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Would this have implications for additional delivery costs, not just pricing? A lot of supposedly UK websites actually ship their goods from the EU and fall foul of Brexit (eg. Brooks England, the UK website for Converse, ...).

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OnYerBike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
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I don't think we know at this point - it presumably depends on the owner's business strategy. It would be perfectly possible for European owners to retain a UK-based fulfillment centre so the end customer wouldn't be (directly) impacted. Although they might decide the UK isn't worth it and consolidate everything to an EU-based hub.

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996ducati | 2 years ago
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That may explain why Wiggle are now amongst the dearest place to buy anything, which goes against their previous ethos of being the most competitive.

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RoubaixCube replied to 996ducati | 2 years ago
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Rest In Peace.

 

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catn0rth replied to 996ducati | 2 years ago
3 likes

They used to be very competitive and one of their plus points was pricematch- no longer an option. They do still offer loyalty discounts - up to 12% for people who spend £1000 pa on the site. However, since the start of the pandemic and Brexit the whole UK cycling industry has become much more expensive, continental websites still offering UK delivery have become much more competitive. 

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EddyBerckx replied to catn0rth | 2 years ago
1 like
catn0rth wrote:

They used to be very competitive and one of their plus points was pricematch- no longer an option. They do still offer loyalty discounts - up to 12% for people who spend £1000 pa on the site. However, since the start of the pandemic and Brexit the whole UK cycling industry has become much more expensive, continental websites still offering UK delivery have become much more competitive. 

unless you get hit by import fees...brexit, the gift that keeps on giving...

 

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Eton Rifle replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
2 likes
EddyBerckx wrote:
catn0rth wrote:

They used to be very competitive and one of their plus points was pricematch- no longer an option. They do still offer loyalty discounts - up to 12% for people who spend £1000 pa on the site. However, since the start of the pandemic and Brexit the whole UK cycling industry has become much more expensive, continental websites still offering UK delivery have become much more competitive. 

unless you get hit by import fees...brexit, the gift that keeps on giving...

 

I'm sure Rich will be along shortly to tell us all just how great Brexshit is because er, um, live animal exports or something.

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