BERLIN, Germany – On November 1st, both bicycle suppliers Hawk Bikes Entwicklung & Marketing GmbH and its sister company Clean Air Bike GmbH asked to begin insolvency proceedings. The temporary receiver is Thomas Kühn from Berlin-based Brinkmann & Partner.
In a first statement Kühn announced, “Both company business operations will continue unchanged even after opening of the insolvency proceedings,” adding, “all possibilities for the continuation of the companies will be granted.”
Since April 2011 both Hawk and Clean Air Bike belonged to the newly-formed e-bike group called Clean Air Mobility GmbH. At the present time Clean Air Mobility has not asked for insolvency.
Clean Air Mobility GmbH was founded as a holding of Hawk Bikes Entwicklung & Marketing GmbH (brands Hawk, Hawk Classic, Nox Cycles), Clean Air Bike GmbH and Velodrive GmbH. Clean Air Bike - a former joint venture of Masterflex and Hawk Bikes - and Velodrive have been part of the Masterflex Mobility Division that was sold via an MBO to a party centering around Hawk-GM Lorenz Hoser. Hoser and other managers involved in those companies (Rüdiger Laier and Stefan Schulte) stayed on board.
In Triginta Capital the group found an investor. At the end of April this venture capital company stepped into the new holding Clean Air Mobility GmbH that was seen as a new “group of e-bike companies”. Lorenz Hoser remained as managing partner of Hawk ad Clean Air Bike on board.
The major reason for the insolvency is said to be a recall for a large number of e-bikes. “The battery packs being acquired from an outside expert producer were defective. The current damage of more than €1 million was unsustainable for the companies,” stated the receiver’s spokesman Jörg Nolte.
Receiver Thomas Kühn is now looking for an overview of the current financial and economic situation of both companies and plans to speak to all parties involved.
“Hawk and Clean Air Bike business operations will continue unchanged even after opening of the insolvency proceedings,” said Kühn. ‘We will inform all suppliers, service providers and customers as soon as possible about the course of current proceedings.”
In the upcoming weeks Kühn is working on a restructuring concept that will secure as many jobs as possible. Pre-financing of the insolvency funds for the 18 Hawk and Clean Air Bike employees is already on the way.
“Until end of December 2011 all salaries and wages are secured. We will use this time to proof several options for a takeover and continuation of the business. Therefore we are staying in direct contact with the shareholders,” said Kühn.
Major questions right now include what role the third Clean Air Mobility GmbH subsidiary Velodrive GmbH is playing. Moreover it’s a question of what role Clean Air Mobility investor Triginta Capital is playing from now on.