LVMH private equity arm buys luxe bike brand Pinarello

The cycling sector got a major new impetus this week as L Catterton, the private equity arm of LVMH acquired control of premium cycling brand Pinarello and vowed to expand both its bikes and its apparel/accessories offer.


Fausto Pinarello - archiv

Italian company Pinarello, founded in 1952 by Nani Pinarello, is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of competition bikes, bike frames and accessories. The L Catterton (formerly L Capital) private equity fund, the world's largest in terms of consumer-focused investment, acquired a stake in the manufacturer's holding company, Pinarello Holding.

Fausto Pinarello, President and CEO, will continue to manage the business from the HQ in Treviso, Italy.

The new shareholders' primary objective is to expand the Pinarello business globally, also by opening new Pinarello concept stores in some of the world's key shopping cities and maximising opportunities in cycling apparel and accessories as well as the bikes themselves.

The brand is regarded as the Ferrari of competition cycling, and news of its acquisition chimes with FashionNetwork's report last week about LVMH's rumoured expressed interest in British premium cycling wear and accessories brand Rapha.

For the 2015/16 fiscal year, Pinarello Holding reported revenue of €52 million, 90% of which came from outside Italy. The company is present in more than 50 countries and has over 50 employees. Its output is 30,000 units per year between bicycles and bike frames, and its R&D investment is equivalent to 4% of revenue.

“Pinarello has posted double-digit growth rates for over 10 years. We will continue to strengthen the brand globally," said Michael Farello, Managing Partner of the L Catterton North American Growth Fund.

"L Catterton's unparalleled experience in high-end brands and its in-depth market knowledge make it the ideal partner to support Pinarello's development... fostering new growth opportunities while remaining solidly grounded in our roots and always capable of creating innovative products of the highest quality," added Fausto Pinarello.

The Pinarello brand is a record 12 time-winner of the Tour de France, the latest victory in 2016 being with British rider Chris Froome for Team Sky. It also won the Giro d'Italia five times, a World Road Cycling title in 2013 and three Olympic gold medals on road and track.

L Catterton was created in 2016 as a partnership between Catterton, LVMH and the Arnault group. It operates a series of private equity funds from 17 offices worldwide. In fashion, luxury, beauty and retail distribution, it has invested in Frederic Fekkai, Ba&sh, Sandro & Maje, Giuseppe Zanotti, Gant, Pepe Jeans and Hackett, Emperor Watch and Jewellery, the Miami Design District and G6 at Ginza-Tokyo.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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