Bike retailer Evans Cycles went into administration, only to be bought straight back out by Sports Direct.
The future of the retailer looked uncertain, as rival Halfords withdrew its bid to take it over, citing a desire to focus on expanding the Cycle Republic chain.
Trading has not been affected at Evans, although gift vouchers are ‘suspended’ and the status of the cycle to work scheme is unclear.
Gatwick-based Evans has a history stretching back to the 1920s, although in recent years the chain has expanded to 62 branches and 1,200 employees through the involvement of private equity. Sports Direct, the firm owned by Mike Ashley holds numerous other companies including department stores Lillywhies and House of Fraser and clothing brands including Firetrap, No Fear and Kangol.
Matt Callaghan, a partner at PwC and one of the administrators, commented:
“We are delighted to have secured a future for the business and employees of Evans. 2018 has been a very difficult trading year for the business, in part due to the impact of the extended winter weather, but also due to a lack of cash to invest in stores and develop the ecommerce platform. A combination of the associated losses, the capex requirements and tightening credit has led to a liquidity crunch”.
“Evans is a long-standing, well known and trusted brand with nearly 100 years of heritage in the cycling market. To have managed to preserve the business and transfer all staff to the purchaser is particularly pleasing.”