Rapha sells majority Rouleur stake to Gruppo Media

New venture Gruppo set up by Bruce Sandell and Guy Andrews
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Rouleur, publisher of high-end road mag Rouleur and MTB sister title Privateer has a new company in charge – Gruppo Media Limited – having performed a management buy out.

Gruppo Media was set up by current Rouleur MD Bruce Sandell and founder/editorial director Guy Andrews.

Majority shareholder Rapha has now sold its stake in Rouleur Limited to Gruppo Media, and the new venture has three new incoming shareholders – John McNeil, Paul Bolwell and Sir Robin Miller. Metro Bank will be the Gruppo's banking partner.

Rapha’s chief executive Simon Mottram commented: “Rapha is proud to have been involved in creating and establishing Rouleur, the most beautiful and insightful cycling magazine. The future is exciting for Rouleur and we wish the management team well in their journey. We will be reading the magazine as avidly as ever and look forward to working closely with the new team.”

Gruppo Media Limited MD Bruce Sandell added: “I welcome John, Paul and Robin as investors, who bring with them a wealth of expertise from their respective experiences in finance, the cycle industry and media. They all share a passion for the cycling market, also in what we have created and achieved with the business to date. Added to this is a great enthusiasm as to where we can take Gruppo Media in the future – we have a very strong team to make all our great ideas for future growth a reality.”

Gruppo Media's editorial director Guy Andrews said: “We couldn’t have built our business without the help and support of Simon Mottram and the team at Rapha, so it’s with some sadness that we leave this part of our history behind. This new step forward is really significant for us in many ways as it will enable much needed investment into on-going projects, will enable us to grow the existing team and fund some excellent new ideas too. It’s a great time to be involved in the cycling media and we believe our titles are the best magazines out there so, for us, the future looks very exciting.”

Gruppo Media includes Rouleur, Privateer, their dedicated websites and associated products. It also includes the Bloomsbury imprint of Rouleur books including the likes of the Rouleur Photography Annual, Coppi – The Legend of the Campionissimo, Le Métier – Seasons of the Professional Cyclist and Maglia Rosa – Triumph and Tragedy at the Giro d’Italia.

Of the investors behind Gruppo Media, Sir Robin Miller was formerly chief exec and chairman of Emap, more recently non-executive director of The Racing Post and Time Out Group, as well as a director for Bikesportnews.com. John McNeil comes from a finance background, while Paul Bolwell was a key figure at Wiggle for ten years, leaving when the group was sold to Bridgepoint.

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