Rapha, a high-end maker of cycling apparel, sold to an investment branch of the Walmart family, RZC investments.
The British cycling brand Rapha grew quickly after launched by Simon Mottram in London in 2004. Just 13 years later, Rapha is well known for quality biking apparel.
RZC investments, a private equity firm run by Steuart and Tom Walton, purchased a majority share of the company for £200 million. They are grandchildren of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart.
Mottram will remain CEO of the company and maintain a “significant shareholding” of the company.
Mottram said the cash infusion will allow the brand to expand rapidly overseas. It plans to open seven new retail “club houses” by the end of 2017.
It currently sells through 20 local websites, ships to more than 100 countries and operates 17 Clubhouses in major cities around the world. The business has grown by more than 25 percent every year, has been profitable since 2009. It now has more than 200,000 active customers and 450 employees, the brand said.
“This is an exciting day for Rapha,” Mottram said. “It heralds the start of the next stage of our journey and is a testament to the growth and potential that people see in Rapha and in cycling.”
Rapha Sale No Surprise
News of Rapha’s sale comes as no surprise among industry insiders. Rumors swirled about the brand seeking a buyer for the past year.
As reported in Cyclist, the brand sought advisers to oversee the sale in March. Last week, the brand released accounts showing annual revenue of £67m resulting in £1m of profit. The business expanded from 50 employees in 2013 to more than 350 currently.
With the infusion of cash, RZC clearly sees a profitable future in the expansion of a brand focused on the cycling kit.