The rise of the “MAMIL” helps Rapha in the next phase of its sportive

Surely no one can have failed to notice the increasing presence of cyclists on our roads over the last few years. Whether they be the “middle age men in lycra” out for a weekend spin or the daily cycling commuters battling with all the other road users, the phenomenal increase in the number of cyclists globally has meant that companies serving what is forecast to be a USD 59.9bn industry by 2021 have some great opportunities on the road ahead.

One of the companies serving these global cycling enthusiasts is Rapha, the cycle clothing, accessories, café, events and now cycle travel tour company, which today announced that it was selling a majority stake to RZC Investments in a deal that values the company at GBP 200m. Rapha was founded in 2004 with three employees and was originally “just” a clothing company; it now boasts over 350 employees and offers everything a cycling enthusiast might want, from clothing through to retail outlets themed around café culture, through to helping to arrange cycling tours. The company now has over 7,000 members and brought itself to the forefront of cycling enthusiasts’ minds with its sponsorship of Team Sky between 2012 and 2016, as well as its partnership with Sir Bradley Wiggins in launching Team Wiggins, aimed at identifying Britain’s next generation of potential WorldTour winners.

When we look at the evolution of M&A activity around companies involved in cycling or road bike retail, manufacture or technology it mirrors what we are seeing on the roads; in 2015 there were 109 deals announced globally with a total value of USD 2.26bn involving target companies operating in the sector. As of now, and we are just over 7 months into the year, 2017 has seen 53 deals announced but with a total deal value of USD 2.21bn, so not far short of the figure recorded for the whole of 2015. What is also interesting here is that the number of deals recorded this year is less than half of 2015’s figure but the deal value is almost level, suggesting that the value of companies in or around this sector is rapidly increasing.

Numbers of cyclists of all ages and of both sexes are predicted to increase, so we clearly need to find some more cycling acronyms as well!