PwC appointed administrators
Ashley swoops after Evans Cycles runs out of cash
Evans: long history
Mike Ashley has snapped up another retail business, this time acquiring the FW Evans Cycles stores after the company plunged into administration.
PwC was brought in to take over affairs at Evans and sold the business in a pre-pack adminstration to three companies all of which are ultimately owned by Sports Direct International, controlled by Mr Ashley.
Having been established in 1921, Evans Cycles has a head office, warehousing and distribution functions based in Gatwick. It operates 62 stores and online, employing around 1,300 staff and Mr Ashley said half will close. There are six in Scotland.
Commenting on the appointment, Matt Callaghan, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “We are delighted to have secured a future for the business and employees of Evans.
“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.
“A combination of losses, the capital expenditure requirements and tightening credit has led to a liquidity crunch.
“Evans is a long-standing, well known and trusted brand with nearly 100 years of heritage in the cycling market. To have managed to preserve the business and transfer all staff to the purchaser is particularly pleasing.”
Mr Ashley acquired House of Fraser in August and has been linked to a rescue of French Connection. He has a controlling interest in Agent Provocateur, which he also acquired from the administrator, and stakes in Debenhams and Game Digital.