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Northern Ireland cycling retail giant Chain Reaction to merge with rival Wiggle

By John Mulgrew

Published 12/02/2016

Chain Reaction's flagship premises on Boucher Road
Chain Reaction's flagship premises on Boucher Road

Northern Ireland online retail giant Chain Reaction Cycles is merging with rival Wiggle, it was finally revealed today.

The business combined will boast revenues in excess of £300m.

Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles announce today that they are to merge to "further strengthen their position in the global online retailing world of cycling, running, swimming and triathlon (tri-sports) products and accessories".

The transaction is subject to a number of regulatory approvals, including merger control clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Co Antrim family-run firm Chain Reaction has 450 staff.

Earlier this week it was strongly rumoured a merger was on the cards.

Chain Reaction founder and managing director Chris Watson said: "This is an exciting new chapter for the Chain Reaction Cycles brand. Since the business started in 1984, we’ve grown strongly from our mountain bike origins in Northern Ireland to meet the needs of more MTB, BMX and road cyclists across more countries. Coming together with Wiggle is a great way to continue that growth, as a global force in cycling and a leader in technology, eCommerce and innovation.”

Stefan Barden, chief executive of Wiggle, said: "In the global online retailing market in which we operate, there is a compelling industrial logic for our two businesses to come together to become a stronger force.

"We have long respected Chain Reaction Cycles as a business and share its values and commitment to delivering the best possible price and first class service for its customers. Like us they have a deep seated love of cycling. The combined business will offer all customers an extended range of brands and products, with Wiggle’s strength in tri-sports and road cycling complemented by Chain Reaction Cycles’ strength in mountain biking, BMX and road cycling too."

The deal propels Wiggle faster towards its objective of building a global online champion and a major British export success story.”

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