Royal Moto France started to import motocross bikes made by European market leader KTM from Austria in the 1970s. In an expanding domestic market, the company added accessories for motorbikes and bicycles in 1991 and had become the top distributor for these products in France after a few years of rapid expansion.
When RMF’s founder prepared to sell the firm, Jean-Marc Lefevre became very interested in taking the driver’s seat: A keen biker himself with broad business experience in international brands and consulting, he saw more potential for the firm. Investors Finadvance (45%) and Halder (35%) provided the financial backing and Levefre (20%) became RMF’s new managing director, supported by the management team in place.
Expansion continued while the profile of the company changed: In 2000, the import agreement with KTM – providing a major contribution to sales - was terminated, but promptly compensated by acquisition of a specialist distributor of motorbike accessories in the following year. The acquisition sat well with management’s plan to improve profitability which had already led to RMF’s exit from low-margin distribution activities.
Halder divested the shareholding in 2002 via a secondary buy-out to a French investor.