DUBAI, UAE, September 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Fernando Alonso, the two-time Formula One World Champion sees a wealth of opportunity in the business of cycling and has today joined forces with sport investment managers, NOVO to acquire a portfolio of assets whose growth they can help to accelerate.
"I'm thrilled to be part of this new venture," said the Scuderia Ferrari driver. "I get to indulge my passion for cycling and obsession with technology and design with likeminded people. We see a window of opportunity and plan to kick it wide open!"
This past decade has seen cycling dubbed 'the new golf' and the emergence of a new breed of enthusiasts affectionately known as mamil's (or middle aged men in lycra). With annual revenues of over $50bn a year worldwide, it is now the largest sector of the sporting goods industry with a 15% share.
Commenting on their strategy, NOVO's Managing Partner Nathan Pillai says that the timing couldn't be better. "Current social, economic and market conditions have created an attractive proposition for investors. Our research points to certain segments of the market where participation, consumption and media interest in all things cycling are on the up. Inspired by what we have learnt in F1, we see opportunities in high performance products, wearable technologies and content that serve these segments. We have access to off-market and proprietary opportunities as well as a competitive advantage over financial investors."
Luis Garcia Abad, a Director of the new venture, explains that this advantage extends to both investors and portfolio companies. "We will direct our resources to situations where we can add real value. We have some great assets that we can deploy to transform the growth potential of our portfolio companies which ultimately improves the return on invested capital for our shareholders."
On the subject of Mr. Alonso's long awaited team, Mr. Pillai said that it remains an integral component of their plans. "Just as motor sport provides a platform for manufacturers to reach potential buyers, professional cycling gives us a powerful shop window to integrate our portfolio companies, conduct R&D and promote our activities. We want to create a competitive, sustainable team franchise that is loved and admired for its innovation, transparency and commitment to social responsibility. We are busy putting in place the foundations required to achieve the long term success we desire and will make an announcement on our progress in due course."
On the role he plans to play in the new venture, Mr. Alonso says, "I've been fortunate to have worked with some of the World's most desirable and innovative companies such as Ferrari, Oakley, Renault and McLaren. In the relentless pursuit of success, I know what makes an organization successful. It is this experience and desire to win that I will bring to this project."
NOVO Group Holdings Ltd. was founded in 2013 to develop, acquire and manage a portfolio of assets in sport for its shareholders and investment partners. Combining 50 years' experience across private equity, marketing and sport, NOVO provides seasoned investors with a sophisticated platform to deploy investment capital within sport. With access to proprietary and off-market opportunities across the value chain, NOVO directs financial and intellectual capital to situations where it can unleash the potential of portfolio companies.
SOURCE NOVO Group Holdings Ltd.