Wiggle to swim, cycle and run off to market?

Wiggle, the UK-based online retailer specialising in swim, cycle and running sports gear, is once again the subject of mainstream press stories in relation to a potential exit by its private equity owners, Bridgepoint. 

Bridgepoint acquired the company back in December 2011, paying Isis Equity Partners a reported £180m. Almost immediately after that deal, speculation was rife in the retail-specific press that Bridgepoint’s plans for Wiggle included an IPO, but nothing has been forthcoming until today. 

Given the phenomenal increase in the popularity of sports such as cycling and triathlon over the last four years, especially with the success of the Brownlee brothers, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froom, it is not surprising to see that Wiggle has recorded a 63% increase on revenue between 2011 with 2013. 

Last year saw Wiggle pass the finishing line with £141m in revenues and pre-tax profits of £12.3m, beating its rival online retailer Chain Reaction into second place with revenues of £156m and profits of around £860k. 

With the 2014 Tour de France starting in Leeds in July, and the recent Women’s Tour of the UK just finishing with a Wiggle-sponsored teamed in fourth position, an IPO of Wiggle could ride on the back of another wave of enthusiasm for everything to do with cycling and triathlon.