The Rossignol Group, one of the world leaders in winter sports, has signed an agreement with IDG Capital, a leading China focused investment firm with US origins and global presence. Through a Capital increase leading to a 20% ownership in the company, IDG Capital will use its expertise to support the development of the French group on the Chinese market.
Founded in 1992, IDG Capital was the first foreign investment firm to enter the Chinese market. With 26 years of experience in China, it has contributed to the growth of more than 700 major companies in China, including Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi as well as to the development of international companies such as Moncler, Farfetch, Olympique Lyonnais FC or InFront.
With this decisive support, the Rossignol Group will be able to offer Chinese consumers its heritage and the excellence of its know-how in the field of winter sports, in order to become the reference for winter sports in this very fast growing market.
The Chinese sports tourism market is very dynamic, with double-digit growth since 2011 and significant development potential. Growth forecasts over the next five years are in the order of 30%, according to a PWC study. Introduced in 1995 in China, skiing is the spearhead of this exponential development, particularly since the announcement of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, which has initiated several expansion and improvement projects of existing ski facilities and the construction of three Olympic villages planned for 2022.
The winter sports market in China should reach 100 billion yuan, or 13.7 billion euros by 2025. The equipment alone would represent 16 billion yuan, or 2.1 billion euros, for the same period. A considerable opportunity for the Rossignol Group which continues its quest for the best experience by offering the best range of products in its category to its customers worldwide.
Bruno Cercley, President & CEO of the Rossignol Group, said: "We are delighted to count on the expertise and experience of IDG Capital. Together, we have a unique opportunity to serve a new wave of winter sports enthusiasts in China. We are particularly committed to contributing to the growth of the outdoor sports market in the region, and to taking a decisive part in it. The context is very favourable, with a multiplication of State initiatives and growing consumer demand on the eve of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. We look forward to entering this new market and are confident that with its experience and know-how, our group will become the iconic brand in the minds of Chinese consumers, as it is elsewhere in the world.”
Alexandre Quirici, Partner of IDG Capital, commented: “We are excited to join Bruno, his team and Altor in this next phase of development, particularly in China. Rossignol Group has a portfolio of global brands with exceptional heritage, know-how and technology in outdoor sports. We look forward to working closely with Rossignol Group to grow further in China, where we have deep experience and where outdoor and winter sports are becoming increasingly popular”.
Hugo Maurstad, Chairman of the Rossignol Group and partner at Altor, said: "IDG Capital will be an excellent complement to the current minority shareholders in the group, Sandbridge Capital, the Boix-Vives family and Weber. Together the shareholders represent a complementary set of competence and network and are very well equipped to support management in its further development of the Rossignol Group in existing and new product areas and geographies.”
Altor Equity Partners, which has been a shareholder since 2013, will retain a majority stake in the Group. DC Advisory acted as financial advisor to Rossignol Group in connection with the transaction.