Red Bull have started proceedings to acquire a controlling interest of 51% stake of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, with the German WorldTour confirming plans of a long-term joint venture.
News of Red Bull’s plans to take control of the Bora-Hansgrohe team was revealed on the Cyclingnews Forum and then by X user @faustonef, with the team later issuing a brief statement.
“Red Bull is planning to expand its involvement in road cycling and is aiming for a partnership with Bora-hansgrohe,” the team said.
“By becoming a partner in Team Manager Ralph Denk’s operating company, Red Bull strives to complement the team’s portfolio of existing long-term main sponsors, who will remain on a long-term basis. The planned joint venture has been notified to the relevant antitrust authority.”
According to the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, that oversees mergers and acquisitions, the global energy drink brand Red Bull GmbH, intends to make an ‘indirect acquisition of a controlling interest of 51% in RD pro cycling GmbH & Co KG and RD Beteiligungs GmbH.’
The two companies own and manage the Bora-Hansgrohe team and are owned or controlled by team manager Ralph Denk, his family and other partners.
Under Austrian law, anyone affected by the Red Bull deal must make a written statement within 14 days, with a deadline for bringing in an application pursuant to the Austrian Cartel Act regarding market dominance ends on January 26, 2024.
The Bora-Hansgrohe team said they could not comment further “as we do not wish to anticipate the ongoing review by the Austrian antitrust authority.”
The team is due to hold an official media day in Mallorca on Wednesday, January 10.
Bora-Hansgrohe signed Primož Roglič from Jumbo-Visma for 2024 but Denk denied the deal was made thanks to Red Bull funds or investments.
The team ultimately allowed Cian Uijtdebroeks to depart after a contract dispute with the talented young Belgian but their 2024 roster includes Aleksandr Vlasov, Dani Martínez, Jai Hindley, Sam Welsford, Lennard Kämna and Bob Jungels.
Red Bull taking over the German World Tour would suggest a change of strategy for the energy drink brand.
Red Bull owns a Formula 1 team and several European football teams but has traditionally focused on sponsoring hundreds of individual athletes and producing their own multi-platform media content and branded content via their in-house media company.
Red Bull currently has individual sponsorship agreements…