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Rapha acquired by US investment group

US-based RZC Investments has acquired a majority stake in cycling lifestyle brand Rapha.

RZC Investments is run by Steuart and Tom Walton, grandchildren of Sam Walton, who founded US supermarket chain Walmart.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but UK newspaper The Guardian said the deal would be worth £200m (€221m/$261m).

Since launching in 2004, Rapha has developed into a leading provider of cycling apparel. The company has also branched out by launching a range of Rapha Clubhouses, the Rapha Cycling Club, the in-house Rapha Travel business and a global Rapha events series.

Rapha has been owned since launch by Simon Mottram, along with a group of founder shareholders that includes lead investor, Active Partners. Mottram will remain as chief executive of Rapha and the company said he would retain a “significant part” of the business.

RZC Investments’ purchase of Rapha will allow the company to roll out its Clubhouse network, membership club and range of products and services to expand its global reach and strengthen its position within cycling.

Mottram said: “This is an exciting day for Rapha. 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. The arrival of RZC Investments as a shareholder means we can pursue our mission to elevate cycling as a global sport and recruit more participants by engaging them and enabling them to ride with us at all levels.

“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.”

Steuart Walton, co-founder of RZC Investments, added: “Rapha represents the very best in the world of cycling. Our investment demonstrates our enthusiasm for its quality products, amazing community of cyclists and customers and its strong future. Rapha's strategic vision has set the company on a path of tremendous growth and opportunity. We're excited to be part of this next chapter by bringing the best sport in the world to more people in more ways and places.”