Portfolio: Private Equity: Current

Silverfish UK

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Management buyout of UK’s leading B2B supplier of premium mountain bikes and e-bikes, parts and accessories.

Investment highlights

  • Date of investment2021
  • SectorCycling
  • Investment typeMBO
  • Investment size£8.5m
  • Expected return3x-4x
  • StatusLive

The company

Silverfish is the UK’s leading business to business (‘B2B’) value-add supply platform for premium mountain bikes and crossover products, related e-mountain bikes, and parts and accessories. It has a nascent but growing direct to consumer (‘D2C’) offering through its specialist suspension service centre and e-commerce platform.

Founded in 1999, the Company focuses exclusively within the premium segment of the mountain bike market (now extending to crossover product such as gravel bikes) and has curated a portfolio of highly regarded complementary brands.

Silverfish is the go-to supplier within the premium segment because of its unique and effective approach to actively marketing portfolio brands, becoming a ‘brand manager’ as well as distributor.

Mountain bike, and increasingly premium cycle, brands seeking a supply partner for the UK speak with Silverfish due to its impressive track record of scaling revenues, its differentiated market position and its unrivalled network of small, enthusiast led bike shops which play a prominent role in the UK mountain biking landscape.

The Market

The UK bike market has experienced general growth over the years, with periodic events providing step changes.  The Olympics in the UK was one of these and Covid has been another.

Key beneficial market drivers include government initiatives (e.g. £2bn cycling infrastructure plan and removal of price cap on bike to work scheme); sporting events (such as Cycling World Championships); lifestyle trends; and product innovations such as e-bikes.

Silverfish expects to be an ongoing beneficiary of the general market growth and to benefit from an ongoing positive impact as bikers trade up to the premium segment over time.

Investment Rationale

Silverfish is the UK market leader in its premium segment and has an experienced and highly motivated team with a demonstrable track record of delivering growth.

We identified tangible growth opportunities through extending brand range, geographic expansion and increased focus on D2C sales channel. These are supported by the positive underlying growth drivers in the cycling market, mentioned above.

Silverfish Deal Team

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View full SME Investment team

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