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

By Margaret Canning, Business editor

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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