High-end cycling brand Rapha has been sold to the Walmart heirs for £200m

 
Oliver Gill
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Rapha ousted Adidas as kit provider to Team Sky. While it ended its association with the team in 2016, it is a sponsor of Team Wiggins (Source: Getty)

Premium cycling brand Rapha has been snapped up by two grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

RZC Investments, set up by Steuart and Tom Walton, today emerged victorious in the £200m race to buy the trendy cycling brand.

The investment vehicle pipped former Weightwatcher-backer Invus and Italian Aston Martin shareholder Investindustrial to the deal.

Chief executive Simon Mottram and founder investors led by Active Partners are in line for a bumper pay day from the deal. Active Partners portfolio includes Evans Cycles, healthy fast-food chain Leon and Honest Burger.

Read more: New success cycle? Why Rapha split from Team Sky

Journey

Mottram said the deal was "the start of the next stage of our journey".

Speaking to City A.M. he said the new investment would not lead to major strategic changes.

“I’m not expecting any left or right turns, it is about pushing on with what we’ve got.

The only thing that has been constraining us has been capital... So far we’ve traded ourselves to this position. It’s not a silicon valley story at all.

Mottram had been buoyed at the level of interest in Rapha, calling it “quite mind blowing”. But he admitted the process wasn’t something he wanted to repeat.

“It’s the first and hopefully the last time I’ll do this type of process."

Steuart Walton said: "Our investment demonstrates our enthusiasm for its quality products, an 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."

Read more: Former Weightwatchers owner crams into Rapha takeover yellow jersey

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