Evans Cycles gears up for growth

evans.gifThe Smith family, owners of Evans Cycles for over 50 years, are believed to have beaten the weekend capital gains tax transfer deadline to sell a majoirty stake to Active Private Equity – and fair play to them if they did.Mark Smith and fellow execs Mike Rice and Andy Terrington have overseen rapid expansion of the bike retailer, growing from 11 to 31 stores in the past three years and doubling turnover to £45m in the process.“Cycling has never been more fashionable than it is now,” says MD Rice. “People are riding to work due to concerns over the environment, or in a bid to keep healthy and avoid road congestion.”The value of the deal remains undisclosed but is thought to exceed last year’s reported £35m bid for the business from sports billionaire Mike Ashley. All three execs will remain on the board, alongside a representative from Active, and capital from the deal will be used to further roll-out the brand.“It’s business as usual,” adds Rice. “Active are 100% behind the management team, our staff and the way we operate.”Sounds like the perfect deal, then. And isn’t it great to see a traditional retail model that’s grown organically realise a partial exit for its owners and secure further growth finance?Let’s hope those this side of the capital gains deadline find such deals so easy to come by.

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