Two grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton through their RZC investments business, have bought a controlling stake in the Rapha brand for GBP£200 million (AUD$329 M). The Walmart empire is worth some $230 billion and still majority owned by the Walton family.
Current shareholders of Rapha, including the visible face of the brand, Simon Mottram, and private equity firm Active Investors, will retain smaller stakes.
Sale of the Rapha brand has been in the news for some months, with interest from many quarters of business, including the Invus Group (an equity investment operation with $5billion under management) and Investindustrial, a shareholder in Aston Martin.
This interest stems partially from the current valuation of road cycling as a $47bn-a-year global market, making it the largest sports category in the world.
Rapha saw its revenues grow by 30% in the year to January to £63m (AUD$104M)
Expectations are for Rapha to now pursue expansion into the US market which contributes just 26% of Rapha's earnings at present.