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Texas-based group acquires majority share in parent company of Cinelli, Columbus

Published July 8, 2021

MILAN, Italy (BRAIN) — Asobi Ventures Inc. acquired a majority share of Gruppo Srl, the parent company of bike brand Cinelli and tube manufacturer Columbus. The companies did not disclose transaction terms.

In partnership with Asobi Ventures, Cinelli and Columbus plan to expand their presence with the bike dealers globally while building on foundations established in accessories and apparel, they said.

Asobi Ventures is run by the family of Victor Luis and based in Austin, Texas. Luis has led the development of several luxury and premium brands globally across Asia, North America and Europe. He served as CEO and is on the board of directors of Tapestry Inc. — formerly known as Coach Inc. — from 2014 to 2019, where he led the company’s transformation into a New York-based house of brands including Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. 

“It’s hard and challenging to hand over 100 years of legacy and of great satisfaction,” said Gruppo owner and president Antonio Colombo. “I did so when I recognized in Victor Luis the perfect understanding of my vision of merging cycling with art, design, culture, technology, and competition, combined with an undisputed and proven managerial and organizational ability.” 

Gruppo Srl dates to 1919, with the founding of Columbus tubing — formerly A.L. Colombo — also a producer of steel tubes for aviation and modern furniture. Cinelli was founded in 1947 by former Italian professional racer and champion Cino Cinelli, and the Cinelli Supercorsa is the oldest bike model still in production in the world. 

Asobi Ventures also announced that Marcello Segato will be CEO of Gruppo. Segato is a manager and entrepreneur in the mobility sector who served for more than 20 years in CEO positions of larger companies and start-ups. Since February 2020, Segato has been a consultant to Gruppo and Colombo, focused on developing the company’s strategic plan and laying the foundation for the company’s next chapter.

“My family and I take very seriously the responsibility of ownership of these two extraordinary brands and the leading role they have played in the design, technology, and culture of cycling,” Luis said. “I look forward to supporting Antonio’s vision and the work of the talented teams of Gruppo as we grow new markets and take advantage of the very positive global trends in cycling, health, and outdoor. Gruppo has strong roots as an Italian manufacturer, and the recent issues in the global supply chain have only reinforced our commitment to Italian know-how and craftsmanship.”

Cinelli Supercorsa.
Topics associated with this article: Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments

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