Perspectives from ISB

Cicli Pinarello SpA, the Italian bicycle maker, was founded in the early 1950s when Giovanni Pinarello, a professional cyclist, received 100,000 pounds to give up his spot at the 1952 Giro d’Italia road cycling competition. He used the money to open a workshop for hand-made bicycles, and Pinarello is now considered one of the top brands, with models like the Bolide used by Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins selling for as much as $18,000.

 The family has been studying options to reinforce the business for several years, but it doesn’t want to exit the company entirely. Recently the Pinarello family opened talks with several private equity funds in an effort to sell a majority stake in the company. If recent reports are to be believed, L Catterton, an investment fund backed by French luxury-goods company LVMH, is the frontrunner to acquire a stake in Pinarello. However, President Fausto Pinarello would keep running the company.

L Catterton was formed this year when Catterton, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private-equity firm focused on consumer goods, combined with investment companies controlled by LVMH and Groupe Arnault, the family holding company of LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault. Catterton owns 60 percent of the venture.

Source: Bloomber, October 18, 2016

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