Planet X has declined to comment as documents filed at Companies House, the register of UK companies, show that the South Yorkshire cycling retailer and bicycle manufacturer could be dissolved unless overdue accounts are filed.
A report from The Business Desk published this morning suggests that the Rotherham-based business "filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator." An open court case also suggests that Richard Mostyn-Jones, a Planet X director, applied for a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator on 1st June.
In the past weeks, road.cc has heard from a source who claimed that 13 people had been made redundant in May "as [Planet X] seek to stem heavy losses", and there have also been rumours of administration.
We contacted Planet X numerous times for official comment on the matter and this morning were told "at this time they do not wish to comment on any of the above".
As per Companies House, dated 6 June, a First Gazette Notice has been filed, stating: "The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, the Company will be struck off the register and dissolved not less than 2 months from the date shown above.
"Upon the Company's dissolution, all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the Company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and will belong to the Crown."
Planet X designs and sells its own bikes, as well as cycling clothing and equipment, on its website where it is currently advertising sales and deals with up to 80 per cent off bikes and kit, ending midnight tonight.
One flash sale has a Holdsworth Corsa Disc Team Edition frameset reduced to £399.99, while other bikes and kit have heavy discounts. Two pairs of Planet X Pro-Line 365X bib shorts can be picked up for the price of one, at £29.99.
Planet X became an employee-owned company in 2019. Founder Dave Loughran said at the time that he had "been 'the man' for too long" and that he has seen "the industry grow and change and transform into something barely recognisable from the early years".
The company's three directors were paid dividends of £712,000 and it was acquired by the 50 employees. Two years later, in 2021, Planet X received £3.225m funding facilities following a move to Santander UK.
"The Santander team is excellent, their understanding of our Employee Owned Trust business model gives us great confidence and adds commercial value to our decision making," Trevor Parker, a Planet X director, said.
"By listening and understanding our concerns, they were able to present practical solutions to overcome them. With this funding we can react to the changing market, both in terms of Brexit and Covid-19, and our supply chain is now extended."
The first half of 2023 has been fraught with continued troubles for the bike industry, the British scene losing two major distributors, first with Moore Large in March and last month Livingston-based 2pure.
2pure had announced that it was restructuring to focus solely on the cycling industry, following what it described as a "highly volatile" 2022 caused by macro-economic events in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Despite adding eco-cleaning products company Kingud and tubeless tyre sealant manufacturer MilKit to its portfolio in recent months, dark clouds continued to hang over the company, with managing director George Bowie leaving his position in May.
Then a short time later, 2pure announced through an update at Companies House that an administrator had been appointed, following the route of competitor Moore Large months earlier.
The Derby-based UK distributor for brands such as Tern Bicycles, Lake, Forme, ETC, Emmelle and MeThree entered liquidation in March, sparking stock being auctioned online at heavily discounted prices.
The news came less than a year since the distributor's board directors bought the business from the Moore family.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.