Monday, June 12, 2023

News: Jobs saved as Rotherham bike retailer sold in pre-pack deal


The future of independent British bicycle designer and retailer Planet X Limited has been secured following a sale of the business and its assets to Winlong Garments Limited, a company funded by Baaj Capital LLP.

Founded in Sheffield and now based in Rotherham, the business has been designing and building road, gravel and mountain bikes for over 30 years, under brands including Planet X, Holdsworth, On-One and Titus. In addition, the Company sells a range of clothing and accessories via its online store.

The company had performed strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, but had since experienced a dampening of demand. The impact of this on cash flow, coupled with supply chain issues, prompted the directors to explore sale, refinance and investment options.

In 2020, Planet X’s employees acquired the business from its founders and set up an Employee Owned Trust (EOT).

Following a seven week sales process that generated significant trade and financial investor interest, the business and assets were sold via a pre-pack transaction to Winlong Garments Limited. Howard Smith and Rick Harrison from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to the Company prior to the transaction completing.

All of the Company’s 33 employees have transferred to the purchaser as part of the sale.

Howard Smith, managing director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “Planet X has grown over the years to become a well-respected and well-loved name in the cycling community, so we’re pleased to have been able to conclude this transaction which will see the business continue to trade and, importantly, which safeguards the jobs of the Company’s workforce. We wish management and the new owners all the very best for the future.”

Jas Singh, owner and director of Baaj Capital said: “This exciting acquisition accelerates Baaj Capital’s plan to invest across a wide spectrum of diverse business opportunities; the retail sector, with both online and bricks and mortar sites, being only one area of interest.

“Baaj Capital has actively funded the acquisitions of both distressed and solvent companies through many sectors over the recent past. Planet X incorporates both specialist production and innovative design, with a reputation for quality and finish, and represents an exciting addition to the businesses trading with Baaj Support. Our thanks to the Interpath team and Company Management for their help in delivering this project.”

Richard Mostyn-Jones, Planet X CEO, said: “I am delighted to have secured the future of Planet X and the team here, with this transaction. Baaj Capital is a very entreprenurial organistion with vision and values aligned with our own. We look forward to further building on our heritage and expertise and continuing to supply the cycling community both here in the UK and across the globe.”

Originally founded by keen triathlete Dave Loughran in the 1990's, the founder returned as CEO in 2016 and set the company on course for employee ownership, inspired by Sir Hugh Facey of Sheffield-based Gripple. Planet X previously had warehouse space at Templeborough before moving to Aldwarke.

Planet X website

Images: Planet X


Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 7:35 AM  

This will come in handy when the government's employment advice is to "get on your bike" and look for work in Devon.

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