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Walmart heirs buy majority stake in British bikewear brand


Rapha, the upmarket and trendy British bikewear brand, has been sold to two grandsons of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Stores.

Rapha, founded by branding consultant and lifelong cyclist Simon Mottram in 2004, has been sold to RZC Investments, a private equity firm run by Steuart and Tom Walton, who are reported to be committed mountain bikers. The firm also has an investment in bike maker Allied Cycle Works, based in Little Rock, Ark.

Since it launched, Rapha has been owned by Mottram and a group of founder shareholders. In addition to selling through its websites to countries around the glove, Rapha operates 17 stores, called "Clubhouses," in major cities, with seven locations, including one in Los Angeles, due to open by yearend. It also has an international cycling club with more than 9,000 members, each of whom pays an annual membership fee.

"This is an exciting day for Rapha," said Simon Mottram, who will remain as chief executive of the company. "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. 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.”
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