Sports Direct and JD Sports join the race for Evans Cycles

Emily Nicolle
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Hailey Baldwin Presents: Streets Of EQT
Model Hailey Baldwin recently signed a partnership deal with JD Sports (Source: Getty)

JD Sports Fashion and Sports Direct have taken up seats at the bidding table alongside Halfords for beleaguered firm Evans Cycles.

Both sporting retail powerhouses have tabled indicative offers for Evans in the last week, Sky News first reported late last night.

The bids come in addition to an offer from Britain's biggest bike firm Halfords, as well as several other financial investors. Evans is understood to have hurried up the bidding process in order to avoid collapse, as it is said to need more than £10m in fresh funding to make it through the coming months.

Evans, which is owned by private equity firm ECI Partners, has more than 60 stores across the UK. The buyout is likely to come at a reduced valuation of the business, as ECI seeks to sell to a buyer who will guide the business through tough trading conditions.

Read more: Chained to its rival? Halfords swoops in for bike chain Evans Cycles

While Sky News understands JD Sports holds a genuine interest in Evans' business, it is unknown whether Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has any intentions to progress further in the auction process.

The news comes after Ashley distanced himself from the board and senior management of House of Fraser, the chain of department stores he bought out of administration for £90m in August.

Sports Direct and JD Sports did not immediately respond to requests for comment.