THE NEXT RIDE: VITTORIA NEW OWNERSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT
'Wise Equity' of Milan joins Vittoria to accelerate its continuing growth.
Vittoria, a success story from a local operation to a global disruptive organization
The current Dutch owners of the Vittoria Group, including the visionary Founder and President Rudie Campagne, bought the Italian company Vittoria Spa in 1990, when it was a small operation with less than 180 employees. Over the course of 30 years it transformed into one of the best, and certainly the most disrupting bicycle tire manufacturer in the world. Today the Vittoria Group has 1.300 plus employees, produces more than 7 million tires per year, and has an annual turnover of approximately 60 million euro. How about that for historical growth! And this diamond is now coming back to Italy!
Graphene Tire-Tech as huge competitive advantage
Vittoria's eagerness to innovate and disrupt the bicycle industry is endless and it really puts the T in Tire Tech! Vittoria is the first company in the world to use graphene in its bicycle tires. Graphene is incredibly durable, and at the same time very light, 200 times stronger than steel, 200,000 times thinner than a single hair. Vittoria developed this revolutionary technology over the course of four years, made 500 prototypes, and then launched the Vittoria Graphene bicycle tire in 2015, followed by Vittoria Graphene bicycle wheel, the year after. An instant bull's eye. Adding an annual 15% increase to its revenue. Dazzling fact: Vittoria is the single largest buyer of graphene for bicycle tires on the planet!
Passing on the torch to guarantee continuity of the group
Vittoria is a top performance brand in cycling and its honors list therefore is none other than jaw dropping. With 41 wins in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta, Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix. 81 Olympic medals, 32 of which won gold, and a top-notch service team that supports 70 race cycling events in Europe every year. Vittoria has more than earned its stripes. Yet following the group's manifesto 'Never Satisfied, Always Hungry', it has the ambition to do even better!
Vittoria strives to become the undisputed number one in developing products and materials with disruptive technologies, so it can keep on providing the best bicycle tires and wheels out there.
To accomplish that, it needs growth capital and a new leadership, as legendary President Rudie Campagne (76) is taking his well-deserved retirement in July, making way for entrepreneur Stijn Vriends (48), who also enters Vittoria as a Wise Equity partner, to take the group's helm as President and CEO.
Rudie Campagne will remain as non-executive in the Vittoria Board for a number of years to and will become honorary chairman for life. Wise-Equity is an Italian private equity fund based in Milan and awarded “Best Italian LBO Fund” for three years in a row.
Major growth potential in Urban Mobility
Vittoria represents a top performance brand in sports, and absolutely wants to remain that, yet the group also sees huge growth opportunity in the future of Urban Mobility and E-bikes. "It's more exciting than ever to be part of the ever-changing Urban Mobility landscape and our graphene tire technology, developed for sport bicycles, can now become our dominant competitive edge in the Urban bike category, as graphene tires are ideal for city-and-E-bikes which need long endurance tires that don't run flat." , says forthcoming CEO Stijn Vriends.
On June 30th, Vittoria launched the new line of tires with a 'Battery Saving Compound', a revolutionary technology that makes E-bike batteries last longer.
Back to the roots!
Worldwide, many companies show interest in Vittoria but current Dutch owners wanted to take the precious brand to its Italian roots. The Vittoria brand is 'Italian heritage' is to be cherished. In terms of prestige and innovation, it's definitely on par with the famously innovative Italian brands. "Me and my partners eventually always wanted to bring the brand home to Italy, the cradle of the cycling world. Turning over the reins to Wise Equity therefore feels like the completion of a cycle.", says retiring president Rudie Campagne. And with it comes the decision to relocate Vittoria's headquarters to the heart of sport cycling in Bergamo, Italy, where the group recently build a 7 million euro, state-of-the-art, office, test center and logistics warehouse, bringing that brand closer to its key market and clients.
Product Strategy and Research will become key activities at the Bergamo HQ where scientific cooperation will be activated with the EU Graphene Flagship and compound & polymers research facilities. Collaborations with suppliers of advanced chemicals will also be intensified.
Dr. Valerio De Molli, CEO and managing partner of the first Italian Think Thank 'The European House Ambrosetti' will join Vittoria as a board member to collectively develop industrial strategies to promote and stimulate the highly potential Italian cycling industries and create full Italian professional racing teams.
Company mission remains unchanged:
Vittoria is there for all cyclists, to keep on providing them with the best riding experience.