The parent company of Lancashire's Ribble Cycles has been acquired by a London-based retail investment firm. Cyclesport North, run by the Dove family, has owned Ribble Cycles since the 1980s. The new owner is True Capital, which owns niche retailers in other sectors.
Terry Dove will not be involved with Ribble Cycles going forward although his son, James, remains as managing director.
A statement from True Capital said it acquired Ribble because of the "growing participation of cycling" and "significant structural changes in consumers’ health-related activities". The company also said the cycle sector, rich in (fiercely) independent retailers, "remains one of the few unconsolidated niches in retail."
True Capital co-founder Paul Cocker said: “We have been tracking Ribble Cycles for some time and are delighted to be able to join forces with the Dove family. The structural growth of cycling, the changing consumer attitudes to their health and wellbeing, and the fragmented nature of the market look attractive drivers."
Terry Dove said: “I am exceptionally proud of what we have built as a family and whilst I am sad to be leaving the business I am delighted that my son, James, will continue to play an integral role going forward."
He added: "It was important to me that, having been involved with Ribble for over 30 years, we could find the right partner to take the brand forward and in True Capital I am confident we have found one.”
James Dove said: “True Capital shares our vision for the next stage of Ribble’s growth and their sector specialist knowledge and understanding of the market coupled with the appreciation of our culture make them the right partner for the future development of the business."
Ribble employs 50 people. The shop was founded in the middle of the great bicycle boom of 1897. In 2013 Ribble Cycles posted a 22 percent increase in annual pre-tax profits totalling £2.6m. Figures for 2014 are not yet available.