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Rapha hires advisors to oversee potential sale

Joseph Delves
15 Mar 2017

It looks like Simon Mottram is selling up, but not to the owners of Louis Vuitton

Following rumours late last year that it was about to be sold to the owners of Louis Vuitton, London based cycle clothing brand Rapha have brought onboard advisors to oversee the potential sale of the business.

Sky News reports that the firm have been interviewing investment banks with the aim of appointing one to oversee the sale of the brand.

However, it now seems unlikely the buyer will be luxury fashion group LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton and recently purchased bike makers Pinarello.

Speculation had grown last year that the group was near to closing a deal.

Recently released accounts covering the last tax year reveal Rapha posted surprisingly modest profits of 2.25 per cent on a turnover of £48.8 million.

Although this is partly accounted for by a recent expansion that saw the brand go from 50 employees in 2013 to over 300 currently, and meaning as a going concern the brand is likely to remain very attractive to investors.

With production costs accounting for 51% of the brand’s turnover it’s not obvious how the recent devaluation of the pound is likely to affect production costs, although that fall in the value of the pound has recently made British exports more saleable.

Founded in 2004 as a reaction against the garish cycling clothing available at the time, the brand sponsored Team Sky for four years beginning at the end 2012.

In recent years it’s expanded heavily into overseas territories, with its cycle clubs and cafes, along with books, a magazine and bespoke travel service.