Whyte Bikes has secured an undisclosed investment from Cairngorm Capital to help it grow internationally and expand its eMTB offerings.
The investment has been driven by a strong 2020 for the UK-based brand that saw a four-fold increase in its profits to nearly £2 million. It is one of a number of investments in bike brands following the COVID bike boom, following on the back of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert taking a majority stake in Canyon Bicycles
, Mavic being saved by the Bourellier Group
and Atherton Bikes securing 600,000GBP in crowdfunding
Whyte is best known for its progressive trail bikes
(or maybe its dispute with the Rich Energy Formula 1 team
) but in recent years has expanded into gravel, commuter, youth and strong-selling e-bikes. It's these ebikes that seem to be a big draw for Cairngorm who say, "The firm’s investment will allow Whyte to develop its product portfolio, including broadening its range of industry-leading e-bikes". Cairngorm are also able to bring management expertise and international sales experience to develop Whyte’s brand presence in its existing markets and to help it spread its reach into new territories.
Whyte's board will now be led by David Hill, who joins as non-executive chairman, which will allow Guy Farrant, Whyte's managing director and founder, to focus on trendspotting and driving Whyte’s strategic vision.
This is Cairngorm Capital’s 30th investment since 2016 and marks its entry into the bicycle sector. The firm’s investment was led by Neil McGill and Mutsa Mutembwa. Neil explained, “Whyte is a superb business with exciting growth prospects and an exceptional management team. Our firm believes that the trend towards increased participation in cycling driven by changing lifestyles, environmental considerations and government policy support will endure over the long term. As a leading UK brand with a range of award-winning bikes, Whyte is well placed to benefit. We are delighted to be able to partner with Guy and his team.”
Derek Farrant, Whyte’s founder, said, “This is a new chapter for Whyte and represents a natural progression for me – Guy is a very capable MD of the business and has been shaping Whyte to his own vision over the last seven years. This is an exciting time for all involved in Whyte’s future and I have every expectation of its success, under the ongoing stewardship of Guy and the management team.”
Guy Farrant, Whyte’s Managing Director, added, “On behalf of all at Whyte, I would like to welcome David to our company and Cairngorm Capital as partners – we look forward to working together. This partnership provides Whyte with the resources and expertise to undertake a series of initiatives that will enhance the quality of our offering, extend our product range and ultimately, benefit our customers and riders.”
More info, here