Bicycle brand Ribble gets into gear for sale as industry sales surge

Business

One of Britain’s oldest bicycle manufacturers is being put up for sale amid a continuing surge in consumer interest in cycling.

Sky News has learnt that the owners of Ribble, which was founded in 1897, have appointed advisers to prepare the company for an auction in the coming months.

Stifel, the investment bank, has been hired to handle the process, which is at a very early stage.

Ribble has expanded beyond its core range of road bikes into fast-growing areas such as e-bikes, Gravel and Hybrid categories.

The company has been owned by True Capital, an investment firm which specialises in backing consumer-facing businesses, since 2016.

It took its name from that of the river which flows through Preston, the Lancashire town where it was founded.

Ribble is now understood to have plans for a significant international expansion, as well as to grow its market share in the UK.

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Consultants at McKinsey have forecast that direct-to-consumer bike sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% between 2022 and 2025.

Industry sources suggested that larger private equity firms were likely to be interested in bidding for Ribble.

Neither Ribble nor True Capital would comment.

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