Rutland Cycling image - Copy

March 2014

Midlands based family cycling business partners with BGF

– £2.8m invested to expand Rutland Cycling’s estate of destination stores and e-commerce capability –

In March 2014, BGF continued to support the leisure sector when it invested in one of the UK’s leading independent cycle retailers, Rutland Cycling.

BGF invested £2.8m of growth capital in Rutland, a family owned business that is based in the East Midlands.

The investment will fund the refurbishment and extension of Rutland Cycling’s existing estate of stores; as well as its national expansion, with four new outlets set to open in prominent UK leisure and tourist destinations over the next 4 years. The investment will also enable the business to develop its e-commerce capabilities, including its website

In addition to providing growth capital, BGF introduced the business to Keith Pacey and Keith Fleming who joined the board as non-executive Chairman and non-executive Director respectively. Pacey is the founder, and former CEO and Chairman of Maplin Electronics and has also held a number of NXC seats including at Mountain Warehouse, and LBM Direct Marketing Fleming is the former Finance and Strategy Director at B&Q plc, former CEO at Woolworths Group plc and former CFO of Blacks Leisure Group plc. Tim Whittard, Investment Director at BGF also joined the company’s board.

Rutland Cycling is led by Paul Archer and David Middlemiss who took control of the business in 2013, but have a long history in a business that was originally founded in 1981 by Paul’s parents, Dave and Ann Archer.

Rutland Cycling sells and hires premium cycling products from its four stores in the Midlands and via its website; and is a preferred retailer for the UK’s three best selling cycle brands, Giant, Trek and Specialized. It has been named Independent Cycle Retailer of the Year for three of the last four years and its website consistently ranks among the UK’s top 10 online cycling retailers. The business currently turns over approximately £10m each year.

Rutland Cycling’s retail outlets, which include one of Britain’s biggest bike shops, are located in leisure destinations in Lincolnshire (Rutland), Cambridgeshire (Grafham Water) and Northamptonshire (Fineshade Wood), all of which benefit from extensive cycle trails and high footfall. In addition to retailing and hiring premium products, Rutland Cycling also offers workshop and test ride facilities so that customers can have their bikes set up, adjusted and serviced in store or can try out the product range on relevant terrain.

David Middlemiss, Managing Director at Rutland, reflected that:

“We are extremely pleased to be opening a new chapter, one that will bring exciting developments for our customers and our people. Our vision is to be Britain’s best cycling destination, and our staff have worked incredibly hard over the last year to be recognised as both the UK’s best Independent Bike Retailer and Women’s Independent Bike retailer of the year in recent months.

“Working with BGF now allows Rutland Cycling to realise the ambition we have to take a unique model, rooted in a passion for cycling and customer service, and inspire more people to own and ride a bike. This is excellent news for everyone associated with our business.”

Tim Whittard, Investment Director at BGF who joined the board of Rutland Cycling, commented:

“Rutland Cycling is a business with a thirty year heritage that has developed a strong brand and fantastic relationships with the UK’s best selling bike companies. With the rising popularity in cycling, has come high levels of competition from online retailers in this space and Rutland’s combined bricks and mortar and e-commerce strategy and its differentiated customer offering has enabled it to hold its own in this competitive market.

“Our investment marks the start of a partnership with the company and we look forward to working with the management team, Keith Pacey and Keith Fleming to take a successful well established model and expand it across wider geographies and to reinforce the business’ place in the cycling retail market.”