Vittoria has welcomed the Italian fund Wise Equity as new shareholder and owner of the Vittoria Group.
The current Dutch owners of the Vittoria Group, including the founder and president Rudie Campagne, bought the Italian company Vittoria Spa in 1990 when it was a small operation with less than 180 employees. Today, the Vittoria Group has 1,300 plus employees, produces more than seven million tyres per year, and has an annual turnover of approximately €60 million.
Campagne is taking his retirement in July, making way for entrepreneur Stijn Vriends who also enters Vittoria as a Wise Equity partner to take the group’s helm as president and CEO. Campagne will remain as non-executive in the Vittoria Board for a number of years to and will become honorary chairman for life.
“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,” said 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 built a €7 million office, test centre and logistics warehouse.
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 and 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 Tank ‘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.
Vittoria’s production and development remains in Bangkok, Thailand, where it has its two ultra-modern 100,000 square metre manufacturing facilities, spread over five buildings, housing over 1,000 employees. The factory runs at full capacity to meet the ever-increasing demand. In January 2013, Vittoria expanded with a €13 million investment in its ‘Center of Excellence’ housing a rubber compound factory that operates the “world’s most innovative R&D and test centre dedicated to the bicycle industry”.
In the operation, current Vittoria Group shareholders were advised by Fieldfisher for legal, with their team composed by lawyers Alessandro Mulinacci (Partner), Niccolò Massimo Gruppi (Senior Counsel) and Marta Cubisino (Associate). For fiscal, current Vittoria Group shareholders were advised by Russo De Rosa Associati, with their team composed by partners Leo De Rosa and Andrea Bolletta.
Read the July edition of BikeBiz below: