Sachs FMT Files For Dutch Union Bankruptcy
NEURENBERG, Germany (October 23) – Sachs Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH has filed for the bankruptcy of bicycle manufacturer Union at a court in The Netherlands. According to Sachs FMT President Dr. Oliver Schnorr, the bankruptcy filing is based on receivables to be paid by Union to Sachs for a total amount of DEM 1.1 million […]
NEURENBERG, Germany (October 23) – Sachs Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH has filed for the bankruptcy of bicycle manufacturer Union at a court in The Netherlands. According to Sachs FMT President Dr. Oliver Schnorr, the bankruptcy filing is based on receivables to be paid by Union to Sachs for a total amount of DEM 1.1 million (US$500,268;EUR562,421). Schnorr also states, “We will also file for the bankruptcy of the Winning Wheels holding company of which Union is a part. One of the other companies belonging to the Winning Wheels holding, Urban Solutions, owes Sachs another DEM 400.000 (US$181,915;EUR204,516). Winning Wheels President and Union owner Rob van der Linden did not want to comment on this news. The Sachs filing will appear in the Dutch court on October 31.
The bankruptcy filing made by Sachs FMT comes after the suspension of the negotiations about a joint venture between Union and United Bicycles in Belgium. According to a press release dated October 19, unbridgeable differences in views between the two companies were the main reason for the break-up. One day earlier (October 18) Dutch Accell Group NV announced that it had been approached by Union for either a participation or a complete take-over of Union.
Union and United Bicycles have been negotiating for months about a possible merger that resulted in the signing of a letter of intent end September. That the merger has been stopped is, according to a Union press release, due to “Economical and production guarantees that could not be met by United Bicycles.” Thereafter both parties decided to stop the proceedings. But it is more likely that the merger has been stopped because of a seizure by Dutch buying association for IBD’s Euretco on the possessions of Union for a total amount of about NLG 1 million (US$418,000; EUR454,000). Euretco’s claim is based on the sale of a consignment of bicycles made by Union for Euretco to non-Euretco IBD’s. A Dutch court recently announced that the Euretco claim is justified and that the buying association can maintain its NLG 1 million claim. Despite the stop on the merger proceedings with United Bicycles, the Dutch bike maker (production of about 60,000 Union branded bikes per year and about the same number of private label bikes) is still looking for what it calls a ‘strategic alliance’. The outdated facility which Union operates in The Netherlands is the main reason behind the search for a ‘strategic partner’ for which Union now approached Accell Group NV. The third largest bicycle group in Europe with brands like Batavus, Koga-Miyata, Hercules, Sparta and Be-One, is considering participation or a take-over of Union. Accell Group CEO Rene Takens commented, “There are no legal obstacles with regard to Accell’s already big market share on the Dutch market. However, Union has to bring additional business for Accell.” (JO)