RZC Investments, controlled by Wal-Mart heirs, buys majority share in Rapha
Published August 7, 2017 by BRAIN Staff
Rapha has announced that U.S.-based RZC Investments is now the majority shareholder in the business.
The company did not announce the purchase price. Sky News is reporting that it was 200 million pounds ($260 million). RZC’s principals, Steuart and Tom Walton, are the grandsons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.
RZC also has an investment in Allied Cycle Works, the Little Rock, Arkansas, bike maker, and Tom Walton has spearheaded investments in a mountain bike trail system in Bentonville, Arkansas, which hosted the IMBA World Summit in 2016. Walton was a keynote speaker at the Summit.
Rapha has been owned since launch in 2004 by Simon Mottram and a group of founder shareholders, including lead investor Active Partners.
Mottram said, “This is an exciting day for Rapha. It heralds the start of the next stage of our journey and is testament to the growth and potential that people see in Rapha and in cycling. 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. Support from RZC Investments will allow us to further expand our active global community of cyclists, develop even better and more innovative products and services to enhance cyclists’ lives and inspire many more people to take up the world’s greatest sport.”
Rapha sells through 20 international websites, shipping to over 100 countries and operating 17 Clubhouses in major cities, with seven new clubhouses opening by the end of this year.
The company said the business has grown by more than 25 percent every year, has been profitable since 2009 and now has more than 200,000 active customers and 450 employees.
It said the acquisition will allow Rapha to roll out its Clubhouse network, membership club and range of products and services, expand its reach globally and strengthen its leadership position in cycling. Simon Mottram will remain as chief executive and has retained a significant part of his stake in the business.
Steuart Walton, the co-founder of RZC Investments, said, “Rapha represents the very best in the world of cycling. Our investment demonstrates our enthusiasm for its quality products, amazing community of cyclists and customers and its strong future. Rapha’s strategic vision has set the company on a path of tremendous growth and opportunity. We’re excited to be part of this next chapter by bringing the best sport in the world to more people in more ways and places.”