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Ribble Cycles acquired by True Capital

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Retail and consumer sector specialist investor, True Capital, has announced its acquisition of Cyclesport North, owner of the Ribble Cycles brand and an international e-commerce retailer of bikes, components and accessories.

The purchase price for Ribble, which was originally founded in 1897, was not disclosed. Under the terms of the deal, former owner the Dove family will ‘retain a significant stake in the business.’

The Ribble Cycles website serves over 75,000 customers a year, offers a range of more than 13,000 SKUs (stock keeping units) with ‘a customer proposition renowned for exceptional value.’ A reease from True Capital notes that Ribble has ‘a rich sporting history in a structurally growing market with its offer centred on its world class and consistently award-winning Ribble brand.’

Favourable market conditions are ‘driven by the growing participation of cycling, the [UK] government’s commitment to improving the sports infrastructure, significant structural changes in consumers’ health-related activities and a market that remains one of the few unconsolidated niches in retail.’

True Capital will be working alongside the existing ‘ambitious management team to further grow the business organically and via selected acquisitions.’ True Capital’s founders, Matt Truman and Paul Cocker, will both join the board post-completion.

Paul Cocker, Founding Partner at True Capital, commented, “We have been tracking Ribble Cycles for some time and are delighted to be able to join forces with the Dove family. The structural growth of cycling, the changing consumer attitudes to their health and wellbeing and the fragmented nature of the market look attractive drivers for one of the world’s leading heritage cycling brands to significantly accelerate its presence and market share both in the UK and internationally.”

Ribble’s Terry Dove added, “I am exceptionally proud of what we have built as a family and whilst I am sad to be leaving the business I am delighted that my son, James, will continue to play an integral role going forward. It was important to me that, having been involved with Ribble for over 30 years, we could find the right partner to take the brand forward and in True Capital I am confident we have found one.”

James Dove, Ribble’s Managing Director, said, “True Capital shares our vision for the next stage of Ribble’s growth and their sector specialist knowledge and understanding of the market coupled with the appreciation of our culture make them the right partner for the future development of the business.

“We look forward to expanding our offering, accelerating our growth and continuing to deliver exceptional customer service to our global audience.”

As part of the transaction, True Capital were advised by Jones Day led by Pat Stafford, and PWC led by Joel Smith and Nick Cook. The Dove family were advised by Napthens, led by Richard Robinson, and Moore and Smalley, led by Tony Medcalf.




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