LeBron James Investment Boosts Canyon’s US Ambitions

Koblenz, Germany

Basketball superstar LeBron James has stepped up his status as one of the world’s most high-profile cycling advocates, with his ventures company investing US$30 million (A$42.9 million) in rising German bike company Canyon.

A leading direct-to-consumer manufacturer of premium bikes, Canyon last month announced a strategic equity investment led by LRMR Ventures – the family office of LeBron and sports marketing businessman Maverick Carter – and US-based private equity firm SC Holdings.

Canyon says it will work with LRMR and SC to increase its position in the US market and in the e-bike category, while elevating its brand globally.

Canyon founder Roman Arnold said LMRM and SC would join the company’s existing shareholders, including majority holder Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, to support Canyon’s “ambitious US growth plans”.

The company is a category leader in competitive and recreational road, gravel, mountain and urban cycling disciplines.

Roman said at the same time, Canyon is focusing on new growth areas such as e-bikes, urban bikes and connectivity.

LeBron has been a proactive cycling advocate for many years, backing programs helping youth in his home town of Akron, Ohio.

The billionaire LA Lakers player has also supported bike share initiatives in other US cities, saying cycling can play an important part in the freedom and development of young people.

For a while he owned a stake of Cannondale, buying shares in 2007 and collaborating with the company to run fund-raising ventures for community organisations including his James Family Foundation.

Roman Arnold said: “While we were not actively looking for new investors, LRMR and the SC team immediately understood our mission to build the world’s most inspiring and innovative bike company. Their passion for what we are building will make them instrumental members of our team.”

Canyon said its US presence will also be boosted by its appointment of YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl to the Canyon board.

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