Rhône has agreed to make a significant equity investment in Wahoo Fitness, a provider of fitness technology for indoor cycling and endurance training. No financial terms were disclosed. Wahoo’s current private equity investor Norwest Equity Partners will continue to own a minority investment in the company.
LONDON and NEW YORK – July 7, 2021 – Rhône, a global private equity firm with a focus on investments in businesses with a transatlantic presence, announced today an agreement to make a significant equity investment in Wahoo Fitness (“Wahoo” or “the company”), a leader in innovative fitness technology for indoor cycling and endurance training. As part of this transaction, Wahoo founder and Chairman Chip Hawkins and the company’s management team, including Chief Executive Officer Mike Saturnia, will make significant reinvestments alongside Rhône. Wahoo’s current private equity investor, Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”), will continue to own a minority investment in the company.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Wahoo has developed a comprehensive ecosystem of connected-fitness products, software and training content focused on endurance sports athletes. Wahoo’s innovative products include the groundbreaking family of KICKR smart indoor cycling equipment, a full suite of cycling computers and GPS watches under the ELEMNT name, and the TICKR family of heart rate monitors. In recent years, Wahoo has boosted their offering through strategic acquisitions including the Speedplay pedal company and The Sufferfest (now SUF) training software. Wahoo is a partner to the world’s best athletes, including ten of the teams currently competing in this year’s Tour de France and three-time Ironman Champion Jan Frodeno, but their products and services are also the choice of enthusiasts and beginner athletes around the world.
Rhône believes this investment will capitalize on secular macro trends such as increased emphasis on health and wellness, cycling’s growing popularity, and an increased adoption of digitally driven home training tools. Through its international network and experience in retail distribution, Rhône is well positioned to support Wahoo’s plans to continue the expansion of its footprint and distribution channels globally and grow its full suite of innovative solutions for the digital athlete. Wahoo’s strong historical growth trends are expected to continue as macro category growth is accelerated by the COVID-19 restrictions that forced people to work-out from home last year, leading athletes to increasingly realize the advantages of in-home training experiences and connected fitness equipment.
Chip Hawkins, founder and Chairman of Wahoo Fitness, said: “Rhône’s investment marks an exciting new chapter for Wahoo. Rhône has a remarkable track record in partnering with founder-led companies to evolve and strengthen their businesses. I believe Rhône will be a great partner as we continue our global expansion, broaden our portfolio, and leverage the power of technology to transform the way people train and reach their fitness goals.”
Robert Agostinelli, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Rhône, said: “We are proud to partner with Chip, Mike, and the rest of the Wahoo team in their plans to grow the business during this dynamic and exciting time for the connected fitness industry. In addition to Wahoo’s strong leadership team, we are impressed by the unmatched quality and breadth of Wahoo’s brand and product innovation capabilities and its loyal, passionate customer following.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. Additional financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Goldman Sachs and Baird advised Wahoo on the transaction. Jones Day served as lead legal advisor and BDO provided transaction advisory services to Wahoo. BofA Securities, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as financial advisors to Rhône on the transaction and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Rhône.
About Wahoo Fitness
Located in Atlanta, GA, Wahoo Fitness offers a full ecosystem of sensors and devices for runners, cyclists, and general fitness enthusiasts. Wahoo’s award-winning line of products include the KICKR family of smart indoor riding equipment and accessories, the ELEMNT family of GPS devices and sport watches, the TICKR family of heart rate monitors, as well as Speedplay dual-sided pedals and the SUF structured training app to help you become the most complete athlete. Learn more about Wahoo’s full line of products and apps at: WahooFitness.com.