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Stake sold in Wilier Triestina as Italian brand looks to boost UK sales

Cash raised will fund educational scholarships and initiatives to fight climate change

The family that owns Italian bike brand Wilier Triestina has sold a minority stake in the business as it looks to grow its profile and sales in the UK – which currently accounts for around 3.5 per cent of annual turnover – and internationally.

The incoming shareholder, Pamoja Capital, is a Swiss-based firm that handles the investments of Canada’s McCall MacBain family – with proceeds from the sale being used to fund scholarships around the world and tackling climate change through The McCall MacBain Foundation.

Control of the business founded in 1906 in Bassano del Grappa and ridden by the likes of Fiorenzo Magni, Marco Pantani, Alessandro Ballan and Michele Scarponi, will remain in the hands of the Gastadello family.

Andrea Gastaldello, CEO of Wilier Triestina SpA said “Wilier Triestina is a family company with an international vision. After an evaluation period, we found in Pamoja Capital and the McCall MacBain Foundation the ideal partner to support us in becoming a global brand.”

He continued “This solution allows our family to firmly maintain strategic and operational control of the company, as well as reinforcing our fundamental values and culture by associating with the McCall MacBain Foundation and its work on scholarships and Climate Change.

“Our products are appreciated all over the world and now the time has come to further our growth in all the main international markets with the support of Pamoja Capital. With this capital, 2020 will be the beginning of a major growth initiative for the company.”

John McCall MacBain, founder of Pamoja Capital and chair of the McCall MacBain Foundations, said: “As a family-owned company ourselves, we believe we have a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities of family-owned companies.

“As long-term shareholders, we expect to work with the company and encourage its expansion for decades to come without the need for any sale or other external capital in the future, so Wilier Triestina can grow internationally while remaining as a family business with all the benefits and care for the company’s customers and employees.”

He continued: “We are excited to collaborate with the Gastadello family owner-managers of Wilier Triestina to undertake this path of future growth together. We were very impressed by the visionary team of brothers Enrico, Michele and Andrea Gastaldello, who led Wilier Triestina to become a market leader.

“We are happy to be able to support the growth of the company in the coming years, both organically and through strategic acquisitions. We look forward to donating all the financial benefits of our ownership portion of Wilier Triestina to the McCall MacBain Foundation,” he added.

The news comes three months after the announcement that a controlling stake in Colnago had been sold to an investment firm based in Abu Dhabi by founder Ernesto Colnago, now aged 87.

> Iconic Italian bike business Colnago sold to UAE-based investment firm

Previously, in 2016, Pinarello was sold to a private equity firm part-owned by the French luxury goods giant, LVMH.

> Pinarello sold to private equity firm part owned by French luxury goods group LVMH, owner of Louis Vuitton

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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