Activa Capital has taken a majority stake in LOOK Cycle, alongside the existing owners, Dominique Bergin and Thierry Fournier, in order to accelerate its international expansion.
As the inventor of and a world leader in clipless pedals, LOOK Cycle capitalises on 30 years of experience at the highest sporting level; as a leader in the field of carbon technology, LOOK Cycle also designs and manufactures exceptional bikes. LOOK also produced the first carbon frame and the first carbon monobloc track frame, and is now a leading player in the design and manufacture of bikes and high-end accessories. Its know-how and technology have been rewarded many times, as much for its products as for its policy of innovation. Lead by Dominique Bergin (CEO) and Thierry Fournier (GM), LOOK employs around 400 people worldwide and has retained its head office and a production factory in Nevers. In 2014, LOOK notably won the three major world cycling events with its pedals (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España).
With a turnover of €45m and around 400 professionals, LOOK is one of the most innovative companies in the cycling sector. The company allocates more than 10% of its turnover to research and innovation with a portfolio of over 230 patents and has been awarded the trophy for the most innovative company in the sports sector.
Bryan, Garnier & Co acted as financial advisor to Activa Capital who are a leading French mid-market private equity firm managing over €500m of private equity funds on behalf of a wide range of institutional investors. Activa Capital partners with ambitious mid-sized French companies, valued at €20m to €200m, seeking to accelerate their growth and their international footprint.
With the arrival of Activa Capital, LOOK intends to capitalise on its strong position in Europe to accelerate its growth and its international development, in a sector which is enjoying sustainable growth. LOOK already generates 75% of its turnover outside of France. In association with Activa Capital, LOOK will accelerate its growth and play a key role as a consolidator.
Marc Goudemand, Director at Bryan, Garnier & Co commented: “LOOK is one of the most innovative and recognised brand in the cycling sector. We are proud to have advised ACTIVA CAPITAL in this transaction which we believe will be a very successful partnership. This transaction is an illustration of Bryan, Garnier & Co’s ability to provide expertise to private-equity players for investment in Specialty Retail & Branded Consumer Goods companies.”
Thibaut De Smedt, Partner at Bryan, Garnier & Co added: “This transaction illustrates Bryan Garnier’s will to further develop our market share in Specialty Retail & Branded Consumer Goods sectors. Our dedicated research team has developed a deep expertise in those industries by covering European stocks from emerging brands to established groups such as Adidas, Danone, Heineken, L’Oréal, LVMH, Luxottica, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tod’s.”
Dominique Bergin, President of LOOK, stated: “LOOK has many development projects and we wanted the support of a highly reputable financial partner. We are pleased to welcome Activa Capital with whom we share a common growth vision for our brand.”
Charles Diehl, Partner at Activa Capital, added: “we were attracted by this resolutely dynamic and innovative family business and have built a strong relationship over the past 18 months with the management team. We are particularly pleased to be partners in the next phase of LOOK’s development, and to support this iconic sports brand in accelerating its international growth.”
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