A report by Cycling Electric (a sister publication of Cyclist magazine) states that, effective immediately, online mega-retailer Wiggle has been forced to enter self-administration: basically, a mechanism by which a company that is no longer solvent can continue to operate while self-managing the reorganization of its finances and its businesses. This was precipitated by the sudden loss of a €150m equity commitment to Wiggle’s parent company, Signa Sports United, from one of its shareholder affiliates that was originally supposed to provide funding through the end of September 2025. Signa Sports stated the equity commitment termination was “unjustified,” but that unfortunately doesn’t change the company’s suddenly dire financial situation.
While much of the cycling industry enjoyed a massive pandemic-fueled boom over the past few years as an exploding portion of the public sought refuge in outdoor activity, the post-pandemic crash has been equally severe. According to a notice filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States, that €150m equity line “constituted the basis of Management’s going concern and liquidity assumptions.” Its withdrawal may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the company’s financial troubles – both Wiggle’s directly and its parent’s – had been growing severe for months.
According to reporting by Cycling Electric, Wiggle posted losses in 2023 of £97m pre-tax just as of August, and that’s on top of £14.5m of losses last year and another £14.5m spent on its web site and online systems in April.
Wiggle’s parent company, Signa Sports United, began publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange in late 2021 after a SPAC merger with WiggleCRC, the company created from the 2016 combination of online bike sellers Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles. SSU, which claims to be the world’s largest online bike retailer, traded as high as $10.25 a share immediately after going public, but has lost 99 percent of its value since and closed today at just $0.03. The company warned of increasing challenges in its 2022 earnings report. The steepest downturn in its stock has come since August, and on October 2 the company posted a notice to the SEC register with its plans to re-structure, citing “subdued demand and market overstock.” A week later, and only days before losing its equity line, the company also filed plans to delist from the NYSE.
With over €1 billion in net revenue in 2022, Signa Sports United is larger than Wiggle alone; the company claims it operates over 80 online sports shops worldwide in the cycling, outdoor, tennis, and team sports markets. The company has already reportedly begun selling off assets, and the future of other brands that fall under the corporate umbrella – such as Chain Reaction, DhB, Vitus, and Nukeproof – are also now in doubt.
Long story short: Wiggle is in massive financial trouble, and it sounds like those ripples are set to reverberate further in a greater industry sea that was already experiencing very choppy waters.
We’re planning to dig into this – and the greater industry situation – further in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned.
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