Mon, 30 Oct 2023 | ADMINISTRATION
Administrators have been appointed at online cycling retailer Wiggle and will now seek to sell the firm, following the financial struggles faced by its parent company Signa Sports United (SSU). Anthony John Wright and Alastair Rex Massey of FRP Advisory have been appointed as joint administrators by Wiggle.
SSU, which was previously listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has faced significant financial challenges recently. The group had announced major restructuring plans earlier this month and delisted from the NYSE, but then saw affiliate company Signa Holdings rescind an unconditional €150 million Equity Commitment.
The withdrawal of this funding has had a significant impact on SSU and its subsidiaries, with two of its brands – Tennis-Point GmbH and Internetstores – having already declared insolvency. Wiggle CRC, the company behind Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles, as well as in-house brands, Ragley, Nukeproof and Vitus and distribution firm Hotlines, is the latest to be impacted.
Wiggle CRC had already been under significant financial pressure prior to the funding withdrawal, recording a pre-tax loss of over £97 million in the year to September 30 2022, up from a loss of £14.5 million a year earlier.
Wright and Massey have been appointed as joint administrators to Wiggle and another firm in the group, Mapol Midco 1 Limited. Chain Reaction Cycles and Hotlines are expected to enter administration imminently.
Wiggle, which is headquartered in Portsmouth, has a 320,000 sq ft warehouse facility in Wolverhampton and has a workforce of around 450 staff. No jobs have been lost at this stage and Wiggle CRC and its brands will continue trading and remain fully operational while buyers are sought.
Joint administrator Anthony Jon Wright commented: “WiggleCRC is one of Europe’s best-known sports retailers and has built a committed customer following in the cycling community.”
“The administration provides a crucial period of protection for WiggleCRC as we prepare to market the business for sale. The group has a quality stable of brands and a leading market position, so we expect there to be interest and encourage potential buyers to come forward.”
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