Two heirs of the Walmart dynasty have picked up renowned cycling brand Rapha. Through their United States company RZC Investments, Tom and Steuart Walton — Walmart founder Sam Walton’s grandsons — have acquired a majority shareholder position in Rapha for a hefty $260 million USD price-tag. Rapha founder Simon Mottram will remain the cycling label’s chief executive, having ran the company since its 2004 inception.
“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,” Mottram shares. “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.”
According to Mottram, the money from this buyout will go to expanding Rapha in the global market; 100 Rapha stores are currently planned for locations all across the world. Last year, Rapha reported a 30% increase in sales over the previous year, having earned a reputable name in the realm of high-end cycling and outdoors gear. At present time, Rapha products are available at nearly two dozen international websites and the company operates 17 different brick and mortar shops in “major cities” across the globe; seven more stores are set to be opened by year’s end, and the business reportedly grows by more than 25% every year.
In an official statement, Steuart Walton says:
“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.”
For a thorough breakdown of Rapha’s reputation, check out our write-up on the company’s role in the cycling industry.