• Private equity group True Capital acquires majority stake in etailer Ribble Cycles 
  • “Fragmented nature of the market” proves attractive, says True Capital
  • Sir Ian Cheshire and Terry Duddy join True Capital’s advisory board

Private equity firm True Capital has acquired a majority stake in Cyclesport North – the owner of bike etailer Ribble Cycles.

The investor group is understood to have paid between £10m and £40m for its stake in the Preston-based etailer and family-owned bike manufacturer. 

Cyclesport North’s owner, the Dove family, will retain a “significant” share in the business which, according to The Sunday Times, is 40%. 

Ribble Cycles sells bikes, components and accessories, serving about 75,000 customers annually.

Ribble, which was first established in 1897, has been owned by Terry Dove since the 1980s. Dove will leave the business, but his son James will continue as managing director.

True Capital said it will work with Ribble’s current management team to grow the business, partly through “selected acquisitions”.

True Capital’s founders, Matt Truman and Paul Cocker, will both join the etailer’s board after the deal completes.

Cocker said it has been tracking Ribble Cycles for “some time”. 

He added: “The structural growth of cycling, the changing consumer attitudes to their health and wellbeing and the fragmented nature of the market look attractive drivers for one of the world’s leading heritage cycling brands to significantly accelerate its presence and market share both in the UK and internationally.”

It comes as True Capital revealed Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire and former Home Retail chief Terry Duddy have join its advisory board.

True Capital chief executive Matt Truman said: “We are delighted to welcome Sir Ian Cheshire and Terry Duddy to our advisory board and look forward to working with them and their input as our firm’s proposition continues to build.”

The private equity firm said its investment strategy is “up to £40m of equity to proven profitable businesses in growth markets with a differentiated, unique and disruptive offer”.