Friday 14 December 2018

Evans Cycles seeks new owner amid high street crisis

Another retailer is looking for ways to guarantee its future.

The retailer has had a bumpy ride (PA)
The retailer has had a bumpy ride (PA)

By Alys Key, Press Association City Reporter

Evans Cycles is seeking a new owner amid signs of further pressure on high street retailers from online competition.

Advisers are understood to be in talks with a number of potential buyers for the business, which has more than 60 stores in the UK.

Possible new owners are understood to include private equity groups and trade buyers.

PwC, which is handling the sale, has asked for final bids by the end of next week.

Fears of the group’s precarious financial position came to light in early September when Sky News reported that the retailer was in talks with its lenders, seeking a multimillion-pound cash injection to continue trading.

It is thought to need at least £10 million to keep up with obligations over the coming months.

However, the business is not thought to be considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), the controversial insolvency process through which retailers such as New Look, Mothercare and Homebase have closed stores this year.

Evans Cycles is owned by private equity firm ECI Partners, which bought the chain for £80 million in 2015.

In April, the company ditched its chief executive Andy King after less than two years in the saddle.

New CEO Alan Fort is the third boss in the last two years.

The most recently available accounts for the chain’s parent company, April Topco, show that underlying earnings fell to £2 million from £2.2 million in the year to 28 October 2017, despite an increase in turnover.

High street cycling retailers have struggled to maintain market share in recent years as competition from the likes of Wiggle tempts more customers to shop online, while the costs of operating stores rise.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News