News: Investment News | 12 January 2022

Connection Capital invests in Silverfish, a strategically differentiated supplier of premium mountain bike and crossover brands with £8.5m investment

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A strategically differentiated supplier of premium mountain bike and crossover brands, Silverfish UK Limited (‘Silverfish’), which supplies some of the most desirable brands to UK retailers, is set to power ahead in 2022, after an £8.5m investment from clients of Connection Capital, the specialist private client alternative investment business.

  • Deal will fund growth by expanding the brand portfolio, product range and European footprint
  • Strong underlying market drivers arising from increased consumer adoption, demand for e-bikes and upscaling by consumers to the premium segment create attractive growth prospects

Connection Capital’s investment and expertise will: enable Silverfish to unlock further growth for existing brand partners; facilitate investment into leading customer support infrastructure to better serve retail customers; and help the company realise its ambitions around European expansion. As part of the growth strategy, Silverfish will also be looking to attract new, highly desirable, premium brands to the platform, in both the UK and Europe.

Established in 1999, with a select handful of progressive Canadian bike brands, Silverfish has created a unique space in the distribution market focusing on premium mountain bike and crossover brands and offering a unique brand partnership experience. Currently operating across the UK, Ireland and a number of European territories, the brand portfolio includes iconic and innovative names such as Yeti Cycles, FOX, Michelin, Race Face, SDG, Knog, Marzocchi, CushCore, Peaty’s, Ride Concepts, 100%, Easton, Birzman and Skratch Labs.

Michael Coupland, Investment Director at Connection Capital says: “The mountain bike market has experienced significant growth in recent years, especially since the advent of Covid-19. Silverfish operates in a very attractive niche of the mountain bike market, its focus on the highly desirable premium brands means it is well positioned to grow over the long term, as consumers move up the value chain.”

“We are excited to be working with Silverfish. With the growth in cycling over the past few years and the buoyant outlook, we have been keen to find suitable partners in this expanding sector. The dynamism and enthusiasm of Darren and the whole team at Silverfish made them a natural choice for us, and we look forward to supporting them on their onward journey.”

Business founder, Darren Mabbott commented: “This investment marks an exciting new chapter for the business and one which I think will open up numerous opportunities for our brand partners, retail customers and the talented team at Silverfish.”

Darren will remain actively involved and will be supported by newly appointed Managing Director, Matthew Osborne, who joined the business in 2015 as General Manager, and by Michael Coupland, who will act as Investment Director on behalf of Connection Capital.

Matthew Osborne commented: “We see huge opportunity in expanding our existing brand portfolio with ambitious and complementary brand partners. Silverfish’s success to date has been built on partnering with established international brands, as well as working with exciting new brands to help them realise their market potential. With the support of Connection Capital, we are well placed to add to our range of products and territories.”  

Connection Capital was advised by Gateley (Legals & Legal due diligence (‘DD’)), CIL Management Consultants (Commercial DD), Quantuma Advisory Limited (Financial DD), Confidas People (Management DD) and Risk Capital Partners (W&I). ThinCats provided debt funding to support the transaction.

Silverfish was advised by LAVA Advisory Partners (Corporate Finance) and Foot Anstey (Legal).   

About Connection Capital
Connection Capital LLP is a Financial Conduct Authority authorised and regulated, specialist syndicator of investment funds from private professional investors into direct private equity, private debt and commercial property deals, as well as alternative asset funds. It currently has some £370 million of funds under management across a diverse portfolio.

Connection Capital provides a specialist managed service to help professional clients build up their own alternative asset portfolios. Private investors self-select which opportunities they want to take a stake in. Opportunities are identified and negotiated by Connection Capital, which also carries out all due diligence and manages the investment from completion through to exit, on its clients’ behalf.

Press enquiries:
Claire Madden
Managing Partner
Connection Capital
020 3696 4010 or 07764 241476

Russell O’Connor
Headlines for Business 07760 282586