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Wiggle gets into gear with Chain Reaction Cycles acquisition

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A new online sports giant may be on the horizon as Wiggle secures a deal for online rival Chain Reaction Cycles.

The £300m-plus deal was confirmed today after rumours emerged earlier in the week. A long-time competitor in an industry dominated by the likes of Amazon and Halfords, Wiggle CEO Stefan Barden claims he has “long-respected” Chain Reaction Cycles.

“Like us they have a deep-seated love of cycling. The combined business will offer all customers an extended range of brand and products, with Wiggle’s strength in tri-sports and road cycling complemented by Chain Reaction Cycles’ strength in mountain biking, BMX and road cycling too.”

Managing Director of Chain Reaction Cycles Chris Watson will serve on the board of the newly merged group. Based in Northern Ireland, Chain Reaction Cycles has previously been a family owned business.

Nevertheless, Watson called it an “exciting new chapter for the Chain Reaction Cycles brand.”

Further details, such as those regarding staff redundancies, are currently unknown. Wiggle has invited the Competition and Markets Authority to inspect the deal, in order to ascertain whether it will be a threat to competition in the market. The process is expected to take around five months.

Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles earned £179m and £153.4m in annual sales, respectively; around the same as Halfords when combined. The two online chains are not a huge source of competition to Halfords in the UK as around half of their sales come from overseas.

“The deal propels Wiggle faster towards its objective of building a global online champion and a major British export success story,” Barden added.

Published on Friday 12 February by Philip Gallagher

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