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Two months after going into receivership, beleaguered French wheel and accessories brand Mavic appears to have a new owner.
According to reports in the French press, the Grenoble commercial court overseeing Mavic’s plight has approved the company’s acquisition by the French investment firm, Bourrelier Group.
Formerly known as Bricorama — a home improvement retail chain that first opened in 1975 — Bourrelier continues to operate in the DIY space with its Gamma and Karwei brands in Belgium and The Netherlands.
A total of 14 brands were in the bidding to take ownership of Mavic, among them an investment group championed by five-time Tour de France champion, Bernard Hinault. François Guers, founder of WhaTTfornow e-bikes and owner of the Time frame and pedals brand, also registered a bid. Fox Factory, the parent company of the Fox suspension brand, was also in the running, but withdrew its bid earlier this month.
According to France Bleu Haute-Savoie, Bourrelier’s takeover will secure a total of 105 jobs spread across R&D facilities in Annecy and a production house in Saint-Triviers. This represents a little less than half of Mavic’s total workforce.
Mavic has long been known for its wheelsets but in recent years the French brand has broadened its focus to tyres, helmets, apparel, and footwear. The company’s distinctive yellow branding has been a familiar sight at races around Europe for decades, particularly in its home country — Mavic has provided neutral service for the Tour de France since the early 1970s and has a contract to continue doing so through 2022. It’s not yet clear what Bourrelier’s takeover will mean for this long-standing partnership.
The Bourrelier takeover is just the latest chapter in the complicated story of Mavic’s ownership. In 2018, Mavic was owned by Finnish sporting goods group Amer Sports, which then owned the likes of Enve, Suunto, Wilson, Salomon, Arc’teryx and Peak Performance. In September of that year, Amer Sports announced it was looking to sell off Mavic and Enve. In December 2018 Amer, with Mavic and Enve still on the books, was acquired by a consortium led by Chinese company Anta Sports.
In March 2019, Amer Sports reported that its cycling divisions were ‘discontinued’, and announced the sale of Mavic to US-based private equity firm, Regent. The sale to Regent was reportedly finalised by July. But as reported on CyclingTips, it emerged in February 2020 that the question of Mavic’s ownership wasn’t as straightforward as first thought.
Reports at the time suggested the company was actually owned by a Delaware-based group called M Sports International LLC. Regent, meanwhile, continued to claim ownership of Mavic. A Mavic press release suggested that the company felt “incomprehensibly abandoned and [has] never really been taken over, neither by Regent LP, nor by M Sports.”
By May 2020 Mavic was in receivership.