It’s official, Erik Buell Racing has been sold. The East Troy company went up for auction yesterday, and the Walworth County Circuit Court today put its rubber stamp on the winning bid of $2.25 million, made by Atlantic Metals LLC.
In its bid, Atlantic Metals acquired all of EBR’s manufacturing assets (machines, parts, tools, etc), as well as the company’s intangible assets (trademarks, patents, databases, etc). Atlantic is acquiring these items with no contingencies, per the terms of the auction.
Between the tangible and intangible assets purchased by Atlantic and the consulting working acquired by Hero MotoCorp, EBR’s receivership proceedings raised a little over $5 million. Former EBR employees will be first in line to reap that amount, getting the $202,000 in paid time off that they are owed.
With $20.4 million in liabilities, only a fraction of Erik Buell Racing’s debts will be squared. Such is the nature of the beast, and it will be up to the new owner of EBR to reconcile those debts with their creditors.
What remains to be seen though, and likely at the forefront of every Buellista’s mind, is what will Atlantic Metals do with Erik Buell Racing.
Bruce Belfer, Atlantic Metals’ representative in the court proceedings, seemed to hint at a revival of the brand, posting on Facebook “EBR lives. It reopens. It goes on. Thank you all for keeping the faith. More good news to follow…”
No official word has come from the group though.
Even with that statement, it is hard to imagine a company that specializes in architectural electrics and lighting is suddenly going to get into the motorcycle business, and do so through the EBR brand. Although, crazier things have happened.
Of course, the bigger issue will be how radioactive the Buell brand has become in the minds of consumers, dealers, and creditors. The fact that many people are forgetting in this whole story is that EBR motorcycles were not even close to being considered strong sellers in the marketplace.
Erik Buell’s claim that the company could be shipping bikes within days of reponening assumes that dealers weren’t already struggling to sell the units on their showroom floors.
Hopefully Mr. Belfer & Co. will have a more robust strategy, beyond continuing what was already a doomed business plan.
Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel