Iconic Italian bike brand Pinarello is set to be sold to South African billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, according to sources close to the company.
The Financial Times has reported that Glasenberg, a former champion race walker and mining chief executive, is believed to be in the final stages of a deal to acquire an 80 percent stake in Pinarello.
The 66-year-old was reportedly seen visiting the venerable bike manufacturer’s headquarters in Treviso earlier this week, purportedly to purchase a Bolide time trial bike.
His bid is understood to have valued Pinarello, currently owned by investment firm L Catterton, at €250 million (around £215 million).
Born in Johannesburg, Glasenberg was CEO of Glencore, one of the world’s largest commodity trading and mining companies, for almost 20 years until his retirement in 2021, and still retains a 10 percent share in the business.
Reported to be a keen cyclist, the business executive has already dipped his toe into the cycling world through his investment in Q36.5, the Italian clothing brand which now sponsors Doug Ryder’s Swiss-registered second-tier pro team.
The successor to the defunct Qhubeka squad, the Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team was established at the end of last year with Glasenberg’s assistance and features veterans Jack Bauer and Gianluca Brambilla, as well as 24-year-old British rider Mark Donovan.
Pinarello was bought by investment firm L Catterton in 2016, though Fausto Pinarello – whose father Giovanni founded the company in 1953 – retained his position as managing director with a minority stake.
In February we reported that Fausto was considering buying the company back from L Catterton, and was looking for a partner to help fund his bid.
“It’s normal for a fund to want to leave after six years,” he said about the investment firm’s planned exit at the time.
“I’m giving it a little thought and with a partner who believes in the project I think we could go a long way. The sector works and we are happy. And I am more than willing to continue to pass on the tradition.”
It is believed that any takeover by Glasenberg would also include Fausto Pinarello in its plans, ensuring the family name remains embedded in the company’s prestigious 70-year history.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.