Red Bull has initiated a significant move in professional cycling by acquiring a 51% controlling interest in the Bora-Hansgrohe team, marking a pivotal expansion in their involvement in road cycling. The German WorldTour team, managed by Ralph Denk, confirmed the long-term joint venture, which is currently under review by the Austrian antitrust authority.
This acquisition represents a significant shift for Red Bull, known for sponsoring individual athletes, like Wout van Aert, Blanka Vas and Tom Pidock, and producing media content. The deal, still under review, aims to complement Bora-Hansgrohe’s existing main sponsors, ensuring a robust partnership for the future.
Details of the transaction emerged on Twitter and were later confirmed by the team. Red Bull GmbH will indirectly acquire controlling stakes in RD pro cycling GmbH & Co KG and RD Beteiligungs GmbH, the entities managing Bora-Hansgrohe.
The merger, described as an “indirect acquisition,” raises questions about potential management changes and possible fresh funding for the team. However, financial specifics have not been disclosed. This development consolidates Red Bull’s growing influence in road racing, adding to their existing personal sponsorships of prominent cyclists like Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s recent signing of Primož Roglič from Jumbo-Visma, facilitated in part by Red Bull’s support, bolsters the team’s ambitions, particularly in aiming for the yellow jersey at the 2024 Tour de France.
The team’s statement emphasized the collaborative nature of this venture: “Red Bull plans to expand its involvement in road cycling and seeks a partnership with Bora-Hansgrohe. By joining forces with Team Manager Ralph Denk’s company, Red Bull aims to enhance the team’s existing sponsor portfolio.”
As the merger continues to be reviewed, Bora-Hansgrohe remains cautious in its communications, focusing on not preempting the antitrust authority’s ongoing examination. The full implications of Red Bull’s controlling stake and how it will shape the team’s future remain a topic of keen interest in the cycling community.