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Burley Bought

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EUGENE, US – All of Burley’s 104 workers were laid off on Friday: Sixty-five will return to their jobs on Monday under new ownership, and 39 positions have been eliminated, was the first announcement of new owner, Michael Coughlin
Burley Chief Executive Char Ellingsworth was not available for comment Friday but said in a statement: “This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it is the clearest direction for Burley and offers the best chance at success.”

Burley Bought

EUGENE, US – All of Burley’s 104 workers were laid off on Friday: Sixty-five will return to their jobs on Monday under new ownership, and 39 positions have been eliminated, was the first announcement of new owner, Michael Coughlin
Burley Chief Executive Char Ellingsworth was not available for comment Friday but said in a statement: "This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it is the clearest direction for Burley and offers the best chance at success."
 
Coughlin’s plan is to refocus Burley on its central and most popular product: its blue and yellow bicycle trailers that can haul kids, groceries or gear. Burley sells about 27,000 of the trailers a year. For now, Burley will drop its other products: tandems, recumbent bikes and road bikes.  Burley has 3,000 to 4,000 trailers on back order, but the company can’t fill the orders because it must pay its vendors cash on delivery, and it doesn’t have the cash to buy materials, said Coughlin, an accountant by training who is no stranger to saving ailing companies.
 
"If you pay down some debts, put some cash in the business, get back in the good graces of your suppliers, you can make trailers and continue to grow the business," he said, adding that he believes the company can be profitable by March. "They’ve got great products, and they’ve got a very good brand," he said. The sale is the second major change this year for workers at Burley, which converted in June to a privately held corporation after 28 years as a worker-owned cooperative. Former members of the co-op were issued stock certificates in the new company reflecting their ownership interest in the co-op. It’s unclear how much they will receive for their shares.

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