CHANGING GEARS?: Following LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s acquisition of the Rimowa luggage brand earlier this month, speculation has been mounting that the French luxury group is now eyeing one Italian company from a very different sector: cycling.

Media reports say that LVMH may be looking at taking a stake in Pinarello, which was founded in 1953 by cyclist Giovanni “Nani” Pinarello. An LVMH spokeswoman said the company had no comment.

However, an industry source close to the companies said “another group” is actually looking at the Pinarello dossier.

“With reference to press leaks, the Pinarello family confirms that they have been evaluating, since a few years, different options to strengthen its capital with a strong industrial base, in order to further strengthen the Pinarello brand in the world,” said the company, which is based outside Treviso, Italy. “The Pinarello family is not considering to exit the business and will continue to follow the company in its future growth, as it has always done and with the same passion.”

In 1975, the Pinarello company enjoyed its first Giro d’Italia victory. In 1988, the founder’s young son Fausto entered the business and it marked the first Tour de France victory with Pedro Delgado.

Pinarello manufactures bicycles for the road, track and cyclo-cross. Its jewel in the crown product is the Dogma, introduced in the Nineties, made with magnesium. The Dogma has already claimed two Tour de France victories and a World Championships crown, among others. In 2009, Fausto Pinarello joined forces with Team Sky.