£25m facility puts cycling gear distributor on track for overseas growth

ZyroFisher UK base

A cycling equipment distributor is gearing up for international growth following the award of a £25m asset-based lending facility by Manchester-based Praetura Commercial Finance.

ZyroFisher stocks bicycles, parts, clothing and accessories from leading brands such as SRAM, BMC, Giro, CamelBak and in-house brand Altura, which it supplies to nationwide retailers such as Evans and Halfords from its base in Darlington.

It distributes its 28,500 lines of products from a 100,000 sq ft state-of-the-art warehouse in the North East, and a new facility in France, following its acquisition of French cycling distributor Royal Velo France in 2018.

ZyroFisher also supports major consumer brands with marketing, ecommerce and tech support, and is the Cytech Centre for the North, which means its team can provide expert training for mechanics across the country.

As part of the deal, Praetura Commercial Finance will work with the business and its management team to support its growth ambitions and expand its operation in Europe beyond the UK, Ireland and France.

The deal comes after Praetura Commercial Finance recently surpassed its £100m loan book milestone.

It also marks the second time Praetura has worked with a major cycling company following the lender’s £3.25m funding of Wattbike, the official indoor bike trainer supplier to the All Blacks.

The news also coincides with Praetua Commercial Finance onboarding 48 new clients across 2022, adding £41.5m of new facilities in its last trading quarter, and growing its headcount by 85% this year.

Stuart Bates, commercial director at Praetura Commercial Finance, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be supporting another fantastic British company as it expands further into Europe. ZyroFisher has been active in the cycling space for many years and boasts a rich history, which is reflected in its partnerships with major global brands and household name retailers.

“Businesses need to adapt to changing conditions faster than ever, so many leaders are increasingly looking to independent financers that are much more flexible and entrepreneurial in their approach. We’re looking forward to working closely with ZyroFisher and supporting the business on its impressive growth journey.”

Robert Haycock, CEO at ZyroFisher, said: “The world is facing many challenges at the moment, but the straightforward approach from Praetura Commercial Finance meant we could meet all our financing needs quickly and efficiently, and that was paramount for us.

“We now have an opportunity to supercharge our growth and take ZyroFisher to the next level, and with support from the Praetura team we’re confident that we will be able to make our ambitions a reality.”

Praetura Commercial Finance is part of the wider Praetura Group, a specialist debt and equity capital business aimed at providing alternative lending solutions compared with more rigid institutional lenders.

The business was named as the most active lender in the North West in Experian’s M&A 2021 Review.

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