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Evans Cycles sold

Evans Cycles is to be acquired by private equity firm ECI Partners, after terms for a sale were agreed between current owner Active Private Equity and the bike retailer's senior management team.

The full cost of the transaction is undisclosed but the retailer, which generates annual sales of approximately £130 million, is thought to be valued at £100 million.

With 56 stores and a well-developed eCommerce operation, ECI sees the retailer as "well placed for further growth" and it will be working alongside Evans CEO Nick Wilkinson and his team to develop the company's proposition further in the years ahead. 

Active acquired Evans in 2008 for around £35 million, and sales have grown more than 300% in that time. Today's statement announcing the ECI deal indicated that Active will generate an 8x multiple on its original investment.

Under the new ownership model, Evans has said it will continue its strategy of investing in people and technology, and by developing on-going partnership with the most prominent global cycling brands. This includes a partnership with multiple Olympic medallist Chris Hoy, who launched his own 'Hoy Bikes' range with Evans in April 2013.

CEO Wilkinson commented: "As a brand, we work hard to enhance our customer's enjoyment of cycling – from expert advice and ongoing support to organising rides and events. 

"Today's announcement marks the start to an exciting new phase in our journey. It will enable us to deliver our brand promise in new ways and to more people. Active has been a very supportive partner, and pivotal in getting Evans Cycles to where it is today; we are very much looking forward to working with ECI Partners."

Nick Evans, partner at Active, added: "In the early years we established the necessary operational and technology platforms.

"We then hired experienced and ambitious management to lead the fabulous teams at Evans who have delivered sustainable and profitable growth in a fast-evolving marketplace. What is especially heartening is that Evans Cycles of today remains true to its independent bike store roots, run by cycling enthusiasts for cycling enthusiasts."