Sunday, 20 November 2011

Wiggle gets a wiggle on! But what about 'Mamils'?

Andy will be pleased to note that his new catch phrase – actually, his only catchphrase – has a certain amount of topicality. There is, believe it or not, an online cycling retailer called Wiggle and the company is being courted by three private equity firms keen to get a piece of Wiggle.

Bridgepoint, the private equity house that owns sandwich chain Pret a Manger; Advent, owner of DFS, and the Swedish EQS are all expected to put in second bids this week and, apparently, there's an overseas bidder involved too.

Inner tubes and helmets are key products for Wiggle where sales jumped 55 per cent to £86 million - generating profits in excess of £10 million.

The success of Wiggle, however, is down to a new breed of male, known as 'mamils' – and that, sadly, stands for Middle-Aged Men in Lycra who, apparently, are choosing fast bikes over fast cars.

Wiggle is based in Portsmouth and was founded in 1999. It is currently majority-owned by private equity company Isis and is run by chairman Andy Bond (former boss of Asda and a cycling enthusiast).

As an alternative to selling, Wiggle is considering flotation.

But let's just go back to Mamils. It stands for Middle-Aged Men in Lycra. 

Thank God we're not Mamils!

Source: The Sunday Times.

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