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Swiss News: Cilo Liquidated, Flyer Revived

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BURGDORF, Switzerland (January 18) – The restructuring process of the Swiss bicycle industry continues with Cilo recently stopping its operations after several attempts to sell the company and brand. BKTech was also facing bankruptcy but the Flyer pedelec has been saved thanks to a management buyout while Villiger Söhne is struggling. Contrary to all rumours […]

BURGDORF, Switzerland (January 18) – The restructuring process of the Swiss bicycle industry continues with Cilo recently stopping its operations after several attempts to sell the company and brand. BKTech was also facing bankruptcy but the Flyer pedelec has been saved thanks to a management buyout while Villiger Söhne is struggling.
Contrary to all rumours the Cilo factory near Lausanne was still in operation till the end of 2001. Owner Claude Jan kept his plant up and running while he repeatedly tried to sell his company after the plans for a merger with another major Swiss maker failed last spring. Talks about a possible takeover by Dutch Accell Group as well as by the Bottecchia/Esperia-Group proved unsuccessful. Due to the time consuming negotiations, Cilo wasn’t prepared for the new season in time. Consequently at the end of the 2001 a chapter of Swiss bicycle industry ended; the plant in Romanel quietly stopped its operations and Cilo was liquidated.
Next to Cilo also BKTech run into trouble and had to lay off 18 off the 20 employees last fall. Thanks to a management buy out the pedelec producer is able to continue. Together with two members of the former management and an investor the former BKTech managing director Kurt Schaer bought a majority of the shares and established Biketec AG. Last December saw the restart of the Burgdorf based company with six employees. For the moment the previous range of the models Flyer F2 to F10 will be continued. Other Swiss pedelec producers Velocity in Basel and Swisslem in Lucerne are also faced with deep financial troubles.
Things also look bleak for Villiger Söhne in Buttisholz: last autumn eight employees were laid off. For the remaining staff of 70 things do not seem dramatic. However, in 2001 the production of the Villiger bicycles for the German market was suddenly shifted from Switzerland to the Saxon factory of Villiger Söhne. (PH)

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