Encore Capital offloads Probikekit.com to The Hut Group

The Hut Group has continued with its acquisition drive by acquiring Probikekit.com from Encore Capital and the company's management team.

Road cycling retailer Probikekit.com (PBK) will be added to The Hut Group’s Lifestyle division following its undisclosed purchase from Encore Capital.

PBK sells accessories, components and clothing related to the pursuit of road cycling and was founded in 1998. It is seen as a complementary business by online retailer and brand owner The Hut Group.

In December 2011, Encore Capital backed the management buy-in (MBI) of PBK and installed Steve Robinson as chairman. Robinson had previously served as CEO of online clothing retailer M and M Direct as well as being CEO of Tesco Direct for its launch in 2006.

The MBI was completed based on the forecast that the cycling apparel business would deliver revenues of £20 million in 2012.

The acquisition is said by The Hut Group to broaden its Lifestyle division offering and generate product and customer cross-selling opportunities. PBK will now have its range expanded to include triathlon gear.

By closing the acquisition, The Hut Group is beginning to put to work the £9 million of funding it secured from a group investors, including the family firm which founded and owns high street retailer River Island, earlier in the month.

Back in July 2012, the business also locked up £4 million from shareholders as part of its desire to launch myvitamins.com.

Matthew Moulding, chief executive of The Hut Group, comments, ‘Following a review of the sector we identified PBK as the outstanding brand for acquisition given its heritage, the breadth and longevity of its supplier relationships and its international customer reach.

‘Through our due diligence it quickly became apparent that Encore Capital had created a stable and professionalised platform ideal for [The Hut Group] to enter the specialist cycling and triathlon markets.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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