Rapha bought by bike-mad Wal-mart heirs

Carlton Reid
Rapha bought by bike-mad Wal-mart heirs

Rapha has been acquired by RZC Investments, confirms CEO Simon Mottram.

The sale price is reported to be £200m, twenty times the annual profits. RZC was founded by two members of the billionaire Walmart dynasty, Steuart and Tom Walton, both grandsons of Sam, the retailer's founder. They are passionate mountain bikers – through their love of cycling the Walton Family Foundation contributed $13 million toward MTB trails in Northwest Arkansas.

“For me riding a bike is about the most fun you can have,” said Tom Walton last year. “It’s something that allows you to stay mobile throughout your life. I don’t think of mountain biking as exercise. It’s about going out and having fun.

He added: "Cities need to include safe streets and make it possible for kids to get around without their parents driving them all the time."

Rapha is part owned by Active Private Equity and was founded in 2004 by design consultant Simon Mottram.

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Revenues in the year to January were £63m, up 30 percent on the previous twelve months, and sales are said to be 40 percent higher so far this year.

RZC Investments owns Allied Cycle Works, a manufacturer of American-made carbon fibre bicycle frames. 

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."

Steuart Walton 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."

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