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Sigma Sports set for expansion as private equity firm buys into business

Retailer to use investment to grow its e-commerce operations and open new “destination stores”

 

Sigma Sports is set to expand its operations after a private equity firm bought a minority stake in the business, founded in southwest London in 1992 and in 2019, the latest year for which figures are available, turning over almost £34 million.

Primary Capital Partners says that its “significant investment” in the retailer will help it further expand its e-commerce operations, especially internationally, as well as opening more stores.

“Strong market growth and Sigma Sports’ differentiated proposition offers an opportunity for the business to continue its impressive growth story, accelerated through further investment in its e-commerce platform,” the private equity firm says.

“Despite the business having focused on the large UK opportunity to date, it already has an international sales profile which can also be further developed in selected territories.

“The fast growing eBike and gravel bike segments also allow the business scope for product expansion, in addition to broadening the range to include lower, though still premium, price points.

“Additionally, Sigma Sports has recently launched its own clothing brand, Universal Colours, following the success of its own parts & accessories brand VEL.

“Sigma Sports will also open a limited number of carefully selected additional destination stores,” it added.

Ian Wittingham, chief executive of Sigma Sports, who founded the business with Jason Turner in 1992, said: “We are delighted to have the backing of Primary to work alongside us as we begin the next part of our journey.

“It is an exciting time as we continue to deliver year on year growth, fuelled by our passion for customer experience alongside working with the best brands in the industry."

The company’s 9,000 square foot store at Hampton Wick is a destination for cyclists from southwest London and beyond, stocking a number of leading brands.

It also has a distribution centre in Grantham, Lincolnshire, which helps serve its growing online business, now accounting for more than half its turnover, with Sigma Sports relaunching its website last year.

In September last year, Sigma Sports opened its second physical store, covering 4,000 square feet in Oakham, Rutland, although restrictions including on numbers of customers are currently in place as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The company also has a collection point in Esher, Surrey where customers can pick up click-and-collect orders.

The HSBC-backed deal was led by Andy Currie, managing partner at mid-market investment banking firm Alantra, who said: “Sigma Sports has established itself as a leading player in the cycling industry and is the go-to retailer for premium brands.

“The company prides itself on the quality of its products, the content it produces and creating a community for customers.

“The company has recently experienced rapid growth, and with Primary’s support, we look forward to seeing Sigma Sports continue this growth story.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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