Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Bike retailer Chain Reaction Cycles 'subject to Wiggle takeover bid'

By Margaret Canning, Business editor

Published 10/02/2016

Chain Reaction Cycles grew from a small store in a Co Antrim village.
Chain Reaction Cycles grew from a small store in a Co Antrim village.

Northern Ireland online retail giant Chain Reaction Cycles is on the verge of being taken over, it's been claimed.

Bike Biz is reporting that the Newtownabbey giant - which boasts of being the "biggest bike shop in the world" - is the target of rival Wiggle and a sale could go through as early as next week.

A spokeswoman for the Co Antrim family-run firm on Wednesday refused to comment on the reports.

The continued popularity of cycling pushed the Ballyclare-based retailer to sales well over £150m for 2014, and its mail order operations have made it Parcel Force's biggest customer in Northern Ireland.

The company was founded by George and Janice Watson as a small bike shop in Ballynure in 1984 and their four children run the company, with son Chris as managing director.

Last year the family had a reported wealth of £155million.

As well as sites in Doagh and Mallusk it has offices in Belfast and a showroom on Boucher Road.

It also sponsors numerous cycling events around the world.

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