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MARS Industries to Continue IRCOS Production

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CHÉPY, France (28 February) – French bicycle component maker IRCOS has been taken over by Distribua. Distribua will continue the production of hubs, cassettes and derailleurs in Chépy with 76 out of the 119 employees from IRCOS under a new company name: MARS Industrie. Local authorities in Normandy have bought the premises of IRCOS, and […]

CHÉPY, France (28 February) – French bicycle component maker IRCOS has been taken over by Distribua. Distribua will continue the production of hubs, cassettes and derailleurs in Chépy with 76 out of the 119 employees from IRCOS under a new company name: MARS Industrie. Local authorities in Normandy have bought the premises of IRCOS, and will rent them to MARS Industrie. After SRAM suddenly ended its contract with IRCOS, the Court of Abbeville announced on 17 January the liquidation of IRCOS, less than two years after it had started a MBO of SRAM-France. In those two years, owner and manager Patrick Büschel had acquired Stronglight (the renowned crank maker from St. Etienne) to complete his range of drivetrain products. Last year, there were financial troubles when it appeared that the prospects of subsidies held out by the local authorities were less than expected, and a profitable deal with Decathlon did not materialize. This month, IRCOS was split up, which means effectively that the products will continue to be made. The split up of Ircos resulted in an takeover of 100% of Stronglight’s shares by French pump makers Zéfal (see homepage). In addition to Stronglight, part of IRCOS’ production equipment in Normandy was bought by Mavic, who will leave it in Normandy. The reason for this is that IRCOS was the main supplier of hubs with the Mavic name, and Mavic’s interest is in the continuity of production. There is an agreement that Mavic will continue to buy the French hubs for a three-year period (according to a spokesperson in Normandy). Mavic has not taken a share in the new company ‘MARS Industrie’. MARS Industrie has taken over all rights and equipment with the intention of continuing production of hubs, cassettes and derailleurs as it has done for the roughly past 60 years. The local authority has bought the premises, and will rent them to MARS Industrie. The new MARS company was actually financed by a society called Distribua. The composition of Distribua was not disclosed, but the French car industry allegedly has a share in it. Distribua is led by Mr. Patrice Lemarchand. The director of MARS Industries will be the well-known old hand Philippe Maillard, former chairman of Coliped. Ironically, several years ago Sachs took over the Maillard family business in sprockets and freewheels bearing their name. (OB)

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