Belfast Telegraph

Expanding Halfords spends £18.4m on two companies

By Ravander Sembhy

Halfords has splashed out £18.4m to acquire two bicycle firms as part of plans to ramp up its online offering in the premium market.

The retailer, which has 14 stores in Northern Ireland, said yesterday that it had snapped up online company Tredz, along with Wheelies, the UK's largest provider of bicycle replacements for insurance companies.

Halfords chief executive Jill McDonald said she continued to "believe in the long-term growth potential of the cycling market".

Combined, the two South Wales-based businesses pulled in revenue of £32m last year. They are being sold by founders Keith and Michael Jones.

The brands stocked by Tredz include Giant and Specialized.

Keith Jones, managing director of Tredz and Wheelies, said: "The time has come for us to work with a partner on the next phase of growth.

"Halfords is exactly what we were looking for. With the support and resources of a large group, we look forward to building upon what we have achieved so far to drive long-term growth."

Ms McDonald added: "We are delighted with this acquisition, which we believe is a strong and complementary addition to the group, extending our presence in the online market for premium bikes, parts, accessories and clothing.

"Keith and his management team have done a fantastic job of building a successful online retail operation, and we look forward to working with them to develop and grow the businesses even further."

Halfords' deal is the latest big-money acquisition in the cycling retail sector.

Northern Ireland online retailer Chain Reaction Cycles is being taken over by rival its Wiggle, creating a combined business with revenues of more than £300m.

The deal between the two companies is to be scrutinised by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Belfast Telegraph