'Almost all' of Evans Cycles stores profitable despite plans to close half under Sports Direct management

New owner Mike Ashley has suggested closing down almost half of the stores despite profitability

Evans Cycles (Alamy Stock Photo)
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Evans Cycles' administrators advised that "almost all" of its stores were profitable before the company went into administration, but new owner Mike Ashley plans to close around half of the shops.

The man behind Sports Direct warned that stores would have to close to save the 1921 founded business, which had sought a £10 million cash injection to stay afloat.

"We are pleased to have rescued the Evans Cycles brand," Ashley commented.

“However, in order to save the business we only believe we will be able to keep 50 per cent of stores open in future.

"Unfortunately some stores will have to close,” he added.

The Telegraph newspaper has reported that administrators Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) said in its proposals document that the company was "burdened" by head office costs.

The business employs around 1,300 staff and has its headquarters in Gatwick. Its debts racked up to a reported £85 million.

Secured lenders HSBC and AIB are said to be owed £28 million, and private equity owed £33 million.

Unsecured creditors such as suppliers - including Specialized and Trek - were owed £24 million, according to reports in The Telegraph newspaper.

It is suggested that they can expect to receive 2.5p for every £1 owed.

Previous owners – the private equity firm ECI Partners – bought Evans Cycles from Active Private Equity in 2015.

In September this year, Evans revealed that it required a £10million investment, and Sports Direct eventually announced its offer after a selection of companies - including competitors Halfords - were named as interested parties. 

Partner and joint administrator for Evans, Matt Callaghan from PwC, said after the deal was announced: “2018 has been a very difficult trading year for the business, in part due to the impact of the extended winter weather in the early part of the year and a lack of cash to invest in stores and develop the online platform.”

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.

A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly. 

When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.

She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 

Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg

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