Note: A version of this article was first published in the August issue of BRAIN. On Wednesday, Accell Group announced it had sold its US brands to Regent, the same investment group that purchased Mavic earlier in the year.
ANNECY, France (BRAIN) — Mavic is enjoying a new freedom following its sale to a U.S. investment group.
The 130-year-old French brand had been tied to other brands, in adjacent and non-adjacent product categories, since it was acquired by the Salomon Group in 1994.
Since then, even as the Salomon Group was later sold to adidas and then to the Amer Group, Mavic has been close to the Salomon brand and has been sharing a facility with Salomon in Annecy for about 25 years.
After Amer sold Mavic to Regent LP this year, a transaction completed in July, Mavic and Salomon finally had to separate their operations.
“We’ve subdivided the building,” Mavic general manager Gary Bryant told BRAIN. Mavic has just shy of 200 employees in Annecy and a total of about 250 worldwide.
“We are going to cohabitate here for the next couple years, but we have installed separate intranet and security in the building.”
More important than the separate utilities, Regent expects Mavic to re-establish itself as a more or less stand-alone company, Bryant said. That contrasts with Mavic’s previous parent companies, who have sought to build portfolios of synergistic brands.
That means Mavic is extricating its finances, human resources, sales and other functions from Amer and rebuilding them almost from scratch.
“It’s a lot like being a start-up, except we already have significant revenue,” Bryant said. “A 130-year-old start-up. Regent wants us to create an independent Mavic organization. That will allow us to do the right thing for the brand. We will not be forced to synergize with something that’s not right for us.”
In the U.S., Mavic has had a chaotic history in recent decades, moving offices from Massachusetts to Utah, where it shared space with Amer-owned Enve for a time. Last year, Mavic separated from Enve and established a small office in Park City, Utah, which will continue.
Bryant has been general manager of Mavic since 2017; previously he was with Arc’teryx, the outdoor brand now owned by Amer, for 14 years.
He said Mavic will launch a completely new product range next year for the 2021 model year. It will include aftermarket and original equipment wheels as well as softgoods. In coming years, he said Mavic may also return to hardgoods categories it had abandoned. In the 1990s, Mavic offered derailleurs, cranks, stems, seatposts and more.
“It’s not certain, but we will explore (offering components),” he said. “We’re going to be open to some new opportunities.”
Bryant said Mavic will continue to provide neutral support at the Tour de France and other events owned by Amaury Sport Organization. The company has two more years on its contract with ASO.