One of the biggest names in cycling clothing industry was bought by the grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton. The RZC Investments, controlled by Stuart and Tom Walton, now holds majority of the shares. A private firm Active Investors and the founder Simon Mottram will retain smaller stakes.
“This is an exciting day for Rapha,” said Mottram, who will continue as chief executive. “The arrival of RZC Investments as a shareholder means we can pursue our mission to elevate cycling as a global sport and recruit more participants by engaging them and enabling them to ride with us at all levels.”
Rapha was founded in 2004. The London-based firm has been selling its products directly to customers via its website ever since. Rapha’s last year’s revenue went up to £63m but in the very beginning, Rapha was perceived as a risky investment. After all the popularity of cycling only began to slowly climb up at that time.
“No bank would touch me,” Mottram remembers. “Who was really interested in cycling back in 2001 and 2002? It was just something us weirdos did.”
Times have certainly changed, and Rapha had a fair share of suitors in the past weeks. It is reported that Investindustrial, which is also an Aston Martin shareholder, was interested as well.
Rapha currently employs roughly 450 people, but the number is expected to grow as Rapha continues with its expansion.
“We are totally in love with the sport. We love the product and think the product should be as good as the sport,” Mottram said in a recent Guardian interview.
What do you think about Rapha? Do you own any of their sportswear? Do you like the brand? Let us know in the comments.