Northern Ireland

Chain Reaction Cycles: Merger with Wiggle announced

Chain Reaction Cycles sells to customers across the world from Northern Ireland Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Chain Reaction Cycles sells to customers across the world from Northern Ireland

Online bike retailer Chain Reaction Cycles, which sells to customers across the world from NI, is to merge with the Portsmouth-based company, Wiggle.

The move is dependent on clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority.

According to its last accounts, the Ballyclare-based business employs around 450 staff. It has a turnover in excess of £150m. The company says the merger is an "exciting new chapter".

Wiggle is owned by the investment firm Bridgeport Capital.

Wiggle and Chain Reaction have been fighting head-to-head for sales for years.

Chain Reaction sells bicycles, parts and accessories to more than 180 countries.

It began as a small bike shop more than 20 years ago, launching a website in 1999.

'New chapter'

It has previously been described as Royal Mail's largest customer in Northern Ireland.

Chris Watson, managing director of Chain Reaction Cycles, 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."

Stefan Barden, chief executive officer 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."

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