Gear

Family-owned since 1970s, Assos changing hands

Former owner of Black Diamond Equipment steps into the role of owner/CEO of the Swiss cycling clothing company.

It’s hard to believe in a world of massive corporations that a company can still be family-owned, but Assos has been a Maier family operation since the 1970s — until now. Philip N. Duff, former owner of Black Diamond Equipment, has purchased a majority interest in the Swiss purveyor of high-end cycling apparel, along with a private equity firm called the TZP Group and Greg Avis, a board member of USA Cycling Foundation.

Roche Maier will continue to be involved with Assos product development and innovation. Duff takes over as the company’s CEO, lending business experience gained from his extensive resumé that includes CFO of Morgan Stanley, President of Tiger Equipment, founder of FrontPoint Partners, and lead director of Black Diamond Equipment.

“I have been a customer of Assos since Toni Maier changed athletic apparel with the introduction of the first Lycra cycling shorts in the late 1970s,” says Duff. “I have only ridden Assos ever since. I am delighted to join a team that has built a truly authentic brand — top cyclists building innovative apparel for passionate cyclists.”

While it’s unclear what the shift in ownership means for Assos products and sales, the company hopes Duff can help “carefully expand” the Assos brand, continuing the company’s “sponsor yourself” mantra aimed at an affluent demographic of cyclists looking for high-end apparel.