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Rapha sold to Walmart heirs for £200m

RZC Investments take majority stake in London-based lifestyle brand

A US investment firm owned by the grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton has bought Rapha in a deal reportedly worth £200 million.

RZC Investments has taken a majority stake in the London-based lifestyle brand, previously owned by founder Simon Mottram and a group of early investors, including lead investor, Active Partners.

Rumours have been circulating around Rapha for some time, with Louis Vuitton thought to be lining up a bid last year, having also bought a majority stake in Pinarello.

Rapha was founded in 2004 by former branding consultant Simon Mottram

However, RZC Investments, owned by Steuart and Tom Walton, has won the race, though Mottram will remain as chief executive and has retained a ‘significant’ part of his stake in the business.

The investment will see Rapha expand its clubhouse network, with a further seven due to open by the end of 2017 alongside the 17 currently in operation. Rapha also plans to grow its membership club, where riders pay £135 a year for a range of perks including free clubhouse coffee, and expand its range of products and services.

“This is an exciting day for Rapha,” said Mottram. “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 was founded in 2004 and has been profitable since 2009. The business has reportedly grown by more than 25 per cent every year and filed an annual turnover of £63 million in its latest financial accounts.

Rapha is said to have 200,000 active customers and 450 employees

Steuart Walton, co-founder of RZC Investments, added: “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.”

Website: Rapha


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