Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

Wahoo eliminates all debt following “significant” support from investors

The company’s “successful recapitalisation” comes a month after its credit rating was lowered by two leading agencies amid missed debt service payments

Wahoo has eliminated all of its debt following what the American company has described as “significant” equity support from current and new investors, bringing a potential end to a troubling period for the brand, which saw its credit rating downgraded by leading agencies and 15 percent of its workforce let go.

Announcing the investment yesterday, Wahoo’s founder Chip Hawkins says it has “successfully recapitalised” the business through a confidential arrangement with investors who have experience in fitness and athletic endurance platforms, and that the new support will expand the company’s global role in advancing innovation in the smart fitness and training category.

“The successful recapitalisation of the business provides the flexibility we were seeking as a management team to allow for investment in innovation and growth from the company’s substantial base and category leadership position, by diversifying the breadth of its offerings to better support athletes and fitness enthusiasts,” Hawkins said in a statement.

“Wahoo’s management team is energised by a renewed focus on delighting its customers and continuing Wahoo’s mission of building a better athlete in all of us.”

> Troubled waters for Wahoo? GPS and indoor training brand cites “special agreement” after missing payment deadline and getting its credit rating lowered again

The positive announcement for Wahoo comes just a month after leading credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded the brand’s credit rating when it delayed debt service payments at the end of March.

Another of the ‘Big Three’ credit rating agencies, S&P Global Ratings, which had previously downgraded the Atlanta, Georgia-based company’s rating in September 2022 and January 2023, also lowered Wahoo’s rating from CCC- to D in April, and warned that the cycling computer and indoor training brand was in danger of liquidation due to its “unsustainable” finances.

In response to those credit downgrades, Wahoo – which let 15 percent of its workforce go last December – told road.cc that the company had made “a special agreement to delay our scheduled interest and principal payment with our lenders for our long term note and revolving credit facility”.

It continued: “The credit agencies define a default as any missed interest or principal payment, regardless of any prearranged agreement. We are actively collaborating and moving forward positively with the support of our lenders and our private equity partner Rhone to create a new capital structure that meets the long-term needs of the business.”

> Brompton confirms £19 million investment in first equity capital raise for 35 years

In the wake of this week’s confirmation that the company has received the necessary investment to remove its debt, Wahoo’s CEO Mike Saturnia said: “The investment from both new and existing investors is a clear sign of confidence in the strength of Wahoo, specifically our team, brand, strategy, and powerful ecosystem of innovative products, software, and services.

“This could not have happened without months of hard work and support from our channel partners. We want to thank our supply chain and retail and distribution partners for their trust and confidence as we navigated to a successful conclusion to this process.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

2 comments

Avatar
PRSboy | 9 months ago
1 like

Good news for them... they have a good suite of products, hopefully they are on a more stable footing!

Avatar
bobbinogs replied to PRSboy | 9 months ago
0 likes

Yepp, excellent proucts and a great/responsive support team.  The problem for a lot of businesses though is that all the basics can be there but bad luck &/or bad management can kill a business off.

I suspect the Peloton management team are still hoping for a similar bailout...but may be sorely disappointed!

Latest Comments