Darlington-based cycling firm to expand into France

Deal means ZyroFisher can boost its presence in France and rest of Europe.

UK cycling distributor ZyroFisher has acquired Royal Velo France (RVF) from the EXXEMM group.

Based in Troyes, RVF is a partner for brands such as Sidi, Giro, Bell and CamelBak in the French market and has established a strong position in the distribution of cycling parts and accessories in France.

Zyrofisher supplies cycling parts and accessories to Wiggle and Halfords as well as over 2,000 independent cycling shops across the UK. It was formed in 2016 through the combination of cycling parts and accessories distributors Zyro and Fisher Outdoor Leisure.

Its headquarters are in Darlington in the north of England and represents over 50 brands including Giro, SRAM and Tacx as well as its proprietary clothing, luggage and accessories brand, Altura.

Backed by private equity

Following investment in ZyroFisher by UK private equity firms Palatine private equity and LDC in 2017, the acquisition allows ZyroFisher to build on the significant experience of both businesses in their respective territories to accelerate the growth of the combined group.

Matthew Barker, CEO of ZyroFisher, said, ‘This acquisition is the first step in ZyroFisher’s strategy of utilising our substantial experience and market leading proposition to support growth in markets where we see huge potential. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Christophe Soenen and the RVF team to maximise RVF’s potential.’

Company to grow operations in Europe

EXXEMM is headquartered in Annecy, France and is active in the bike, outdoor, winter, and water sports categories through RVF and SPORTPULSION.

Ed Fazakerley, partner at Palatine, said, ‘ZyroFisher has established itself as a leading provider of cycling equipment in the UK, and the acquisition of Royal Velo France will enable the company to build its footprint further in Europe.’

Peter Hughes, president of EXXEMM and former president of RVF, said, ‘We are proud to have been involved in the recovery of RVF since our takeover in 2013 and the company is in great shape for the future. This acquisition will allow RVF to begin a new phase of its development for the benefit of its customers and brand partners. I see a great fit between ZyroFisher and RVF and wish the enlarged group the best of success for the future. SPORTPULSION, which has always operated entirely independently of RVF will continue its own development in its current categories.’

The UK cycling market has enjoyed years of growth but UK firms are predicted to sell one million fewer new bikes this year, partly due to a weaker pound which will hit imports. However, the French cycling parts market is in good health, with sales up 5.9 per cent in 2016.

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Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.

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