Walton brothers buy London cycling apparel brand Rapha

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 260 views 

RZC Investments, founded by Steuart Walton and Tom Walton, is now the majority stakeholder in the London-based bicycling apparel brand Rapha.

Rapha, founded in 2004, now sells its men’s and women’s apparel through 20 websites, shipping to more than 100 countries and operating 17 brick-and-mortar stores in major cities around the world, with seven planned to open by the end of this year, according to a press release from the company.

The acquisition will allow Rapha to “expand its reach globally and strengthen its leadership position in cycling,” according to Rapha.

RZC is a business partnership founded by Jared Faciszewski and the Walton brothers, grandsons of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam and Helen Walton and sons of Jim Walton, chairman of Arvest Bank.

“Rapha represents the very best in the world of cycling,” Steuart Walton said in the press release. “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,” Walton said. “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.”

Rapha founder Simon Mottram will remain chief executive and is still part-owner in the business, according to the press release.

“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 said in the release. “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.”

Rapha reports business has grown by more than 25% each year, has been profitable since 2009 and now has more than 200,000 active customers and 450 employees.