Halfords, Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer, has bought Boardman Bikes for a reported sum of between £10 and £15 million. Former world and Olympic champion Chris Boardman, who founded the business, will continue to be involved with it.
The car accessories to bicycles retailer will continue to sell the Boardman Performance Series on an exclusive basis, while the premium Boardman Elite Series, which isn’t sold in Halfords stores, will still be available through independent bike shops.
“There are absolutely no plans to change this,” says Halfords, which adds that Boardman Bikes will be a standalone entity within the group and that Boardman himself will remain as chairman and design director, with Andy Smallwood as Managing Director.
Matt Davies, chief executive of Halfords, said: “Our investment in Boardman Bikes, which have been ridden by multiple Olympic and world champions, demonstrates our growing position as a
specialist cycling retailer.
“We have worked with Chris and his team since 2007; they have created one of the most important, fastest-growing and successful brands in UK cycling. We look forward to a continuation of the growth that both Boardman and Halfords have enjoyed with such a strong brand.”
Boardman added: “On behalf of Boardman Bikes I am delighted by today’s news. We look forward to building on the success we have had to date with independent retailers, in international markets and with Halfords.
“This step will take the brand to the next level and their backing will allow us to further develop our research & development and extend our award winning cycling ranges.”
Halfords did not disclose financial details of the transaction although Reuters, citing “a source close to the company,” reported that the deal is worth in the range of £10-15 million.
Last month, revealing its 2013/14 financial results, Halfords said that cycling had delivered “an absolute stand-out performance” during the year, with sales of bikes and accessories up 42 per cent in the final three months alone.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.