Evans Cycles still not for sale

Evans Cycles say sale reports in newspapers are "highly inaccurate."
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For the year to October 2005, Evans Cycles had sales of £25.2m with an operating profit of £973,555.The company is currently 11 per cent ahead of its sales target and profits are up too. The company is projecting sales of £45m for 2007.

In February the Evans Cycles chairman said the group was looking for a minority partner to help fund expansion. The company has been in discussion with a number of potential investors including Sports Direct and are also looking at debt funding options.

However, newspaper reports that the chain will be taken over by retail billionare Mike Ashley are wrong, said a statement from Evans Cycles.

As well as Sports World, Ashley owns Karrimor and Lillywhites. the sports shop. He also owns a 29.4 per cent stake in Blacks, the outdoor shops. Evans Cycles has a store-in-store concession in the Blacks store on the outskirts of York.

The £35m sale figure was reported in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph and has been repeated across the media. Some of the newspaper reports also said Halfords had been interested in acquiring Evans Cycles.

A statement from the board of Evans Cycles said:

"Many of you will by now have seen a story circulating in the press, which claims Evans Cycles is being sold to Sport World. This story has no basis and is inaccurate and has presumably come about due to Sports World's recent clashes with Blacks and our tie-in with Blacks (by way of the trial concession at York).

"As you are aware, we have been considering our options for future funding over the past few months and are continuing to look at various options, including both debt and equity funding.

"We have no need to make a quick decision and so are taking our time over it but discussions are on-going with a number of different people. Whichever route we go down the business will continue as it currently is, with our expansion plans unchanged."

Evans Cycles finance director Mark Smith said:

"We're not sure where these latest stories have come from. We have no need to make a quick decision and so are taking our time over it, but discussions are on-going with a number of different people. Whichever route we go down the business will continue as it currently is, with our expansion plans unchanged."

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