Bridgepoint rides off with Wiggle

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The Independent Online

Wiggle, the online cycling retailer, has been acquired by the private equity firm Bridgepoint in a deal worth £180m.

Bridgepoint saw off competition from EQT, the Swedish buyout company, to purchase Wiggle, which serves customers in 88 countries from Japan to New Zealand. Bridgepoint also owns the retailers Fat Face and HobbyCraft, as well as the sandwich chain Pret A Manger.

Wiggle grew its pre-tax profits by 55 per cent to £10.2m for the year to 31 January, on sales of £86.8m.

The deal is a coup for the private equity firm Isis, which acquired its majority shareholding in Wiggle for £12m in 2006. Rothschild ran the sale process.

Vince Gwilliam, a Bridgepoint partner, said: "Wiggle is benefitting from strong structural market drivers such as the shift to online retailing combined with the trend towards fitness and healthy living."