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L Catterton takes majority stake in Italian bike brand - could Rapha be its next acquisition?

A majority stake in Italian bike brand Pinarello has been sold to a US private equity fund part-owned by French luxury goods group LVMH.

The news, announced in a press release from Pinarello issued earlier last month confirms rumours that first circulated last month about an impending sale of the business, which is bike sponsor to Team Sky.

CEO Fausto Pinarello, whose father founded the Villorba, Treviso-based business, remains in his position and retains a significant, but minority stake in the business.

LVMH has been rumoured to be keen to move into the sports and leisure sectors, and last week was linked with a bid for upscale British cycle clothing brand Rapha.

As we suggested last week, L Catterton - formed earlier this year through a partnership of Catterton, LVMH and the family holding company of the French group's CEO, Bernard Arnault, would seem the most likely vehicle for such an acquisition.

> LVMH reportedly in talks to buy Rapha

Here's today's press release in full:

Villorba, Treviso (ITALY), 6th December 2016 – Pinarello, leading brand of premium road bicycles, parts and accessories, announces the investment of L Catterton, the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, in the Pinarello Holding company. Fausto Pinarello, current CEO of Cicli Pinarello Spa, remains as CEO and will continue to lead the team out of its Treviso headquarters.

Pinarello plans to expand its presence globally and the company aims at opening new Pinarello concept stores in some of the most prestigious capital cities in the world. The operation was conducted jointly by L Catterton Europe and L Catterton North American Growth funds and regards the majority of Pinarello Holding capital, while Fausto Pinarello maintains a minority – although significant – stake.

Pinarello Holding counts € 52 million revenues during fiscal year 2015/2016, 90% of which are realized abroad. Operating in more than 50 countries around the world, Pinarello has more than 50 employees and produces 30.000 bikes and structures per year, investing 4% of revenues in R&D.

Fausto Pinarello, Pinarello CEO, commented “L Catterton’s unparalleled experience in building leading brands and deep understanding of the global consumer market make them the ideal partner for Pinarello. With even more passion than the one we have already dedicated so far, we will write a new page of the company story. It is still the story of our company which will continue to be led by the same team that made Pinarello the unique company it is now. With L Catterton’s Pinarello will see new growth perspectives; we will not forget our roots and continue our path, creating innovative and high quality products.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Pinarello, which over nearly seven decades has established itself as the premium road cycling brand in the world,” said Andrea Ottaviano, Managing Partner of L Catterton Europe. “We look forward to supporting Pinarello’s continued success.”

Michael Farello, Managing Partner of L Catterton’s North American Growth Fund, added, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to help Pinarello to further extend its leadership position across the bicycle, accessories and apparel categories. With its rich heritage and outstanding management team, Pinarello has been generating double digit revenue growth for more than 10 years. We will build on that growth and success as we work to continue the rapid expansion of the Pinarello brand and legacy.

More to follow.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

8 comments

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beezus fufoon [950 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

deep understanding of the global handbag market

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marcof11 [7 posts] 1 year ago
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should it not say "frames" ( as in bicycle frames) not " structures  ( as in buildings)  ? The italian word is "telaio" in either case.

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Sax_Huret [2 posts] 1 year ago
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Executive Faustus

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Looper35uk [22 posts] 1 year ago
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Go on Sky dump Pinarello and truly join the dark side by riding a Specialized.

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Nathan79 [35 posts] 1 year ago
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Ooooh, will there be a LV special edition with LV branding emblazoned all across it ? Thereby creating the ultimate in poncyness  ?

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stucolnago [4 posts] 1 year ago
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Call me an old fart but I much prefer meeting the guy or girl who will spend time with me understanding what riding I do then designing the frame/bike around me.

With these transactions it is all about the $$$ and international branding and market share.

Look at the like of Casati or Marco Bertoletti , two small companies but amazing engineering and skill not to mention art and building of the their frames are not contracted out to Asia.

And as a final comment it saddens me to see how many Pinarello F8's are built up with 50/34 chainsets...says it all about the market they are aiming at.

 

Everyone to their own of course. Happy cycling.

 

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wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 1 year ago
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stucolnago wrote:

And as a final comment it saddens me to see how many Pinarello F8's are built up with 50/34 chainsets...says it all about the market they are aiming at.

 

Only people who ride on the flat should buy Pinarellos?

I bet even the pros don't go up the steep climbs on a 36 x 25 gear

ah yes

http://www.velonews.com/2011/09/vuelta-a-espana/vuelta-tech-gear-ratios-...

Chris Froome would have chosen any easier gear than 38 x 32 in hindsight, which is an easier gear than 34 x 28 which these pinarellos you are being snobby about have.

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derek n clive [264 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
stucolnago wrote:

And as a final comment it saddens me to see how many Pinarello F8's are built up with 50/34 chainsets...says it all about the market they are aiming at

I've got an F8 and a Colnago C59 and quite a few other very nice bikes. They all have 50/34's and two have 12/29's at the rear. Bet that gets your back up. Not that I give sh*t what you think. Too busy enjoying my retirement, on my lovely bikes, at 45 years of age  3