British bike company Planet X saved after sale to private equity firm

Yorkshire company's 33 employees transferred to new owners following seven week sale process

Planet X
(Image credit: Future)

British bike company Planet X's future has been secured after it was sold to Winlong Garments Limited, a company funded by private equity firm Baaj Capital LLP.

The Sheffield-founded company was reported to be heading towards administration, but on Friday evening it was announced that it had been sold. All of the company’s 33 employees have transferred to the purchaser as part of the sale.

According to a press release, the sale followed a seven week process, which "generated significant trade and financial investor interest". The decision to explore "sale, refinance and investment options" came after a "dampening of demand" which followed the Covid pandemic.

Prior to the sale, "Howard Smith and Rick Harrison from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators", it read. Interpath is an independent financial advisory business.

Planet X designs and makes its own bikes, such as the EC-130E, the Hurricane, and the London, but also sells other products on its website, including clothing and accessories.

It is also behind the Holdsworth range of bikes, the Helm and the Corsa, after taking over the marque in 2015. The brand sponsored the short-lived Holdsworth Pro Racing team in 2018.

According to a company report for the year ended 29 March 2022, the firm generated a turnover of nearly £17m in the financial year of 2021/22, down from £19.1m in 2020/21. Pre-tax profits for the period were £1.1m (FY 2021/21: £2.8m).

"I am delighted to have secured the future of Planet X and the team here, with this transaction." said Richard Mostyn-Jones, the CEO of Planet X. "Baaj Capital is a very entrepreneurial organisation 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.”

Jas Singh, the owner and director of Baaj Capital, said that Planet X was an "exciting addition" to his company's portfolio.

He 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."

It is a silver lining for the bike industry in the UK, after a 2023 which has so far seen distributor 2Pure entering administration, as well as Moore Large, a distributor which dated back to 1947. Clothing companies Presca and Milltag have both both become extinct, while Velovixen was rescued from liquidation by fellow British kit brand Stolen Goat.

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