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United Bicycles: Working Towards a Restart

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MAASMECHELEN, Belgium (January 6) – The receivers of United Bicycles, mrs. Hanssen and Mailleux in Genk are working towards a ‘cold’ restart, which implicates that negotiations are being staged with a selected number of parties (among those some of the former shareholders). A restart would mean a continuation of the main activities, i.e. the assembly […]

MAASMECHELEN, Belgium (January 6) – The receivers of United Bicycles, mrs. Hanssen and Mailleux in Genk are working towards a ‘cold’ restart, which implicates that negotiations are being staged with a selected number of parties (among those some of the former shareholders). A restart would mean a continuation of the main activities, i.e. the assembly of bicycles. In the meantime, there are still some 6000 unsold bicycles in stock, and clearing the warehouses is of major concern to the receivers. In case of a positive result, the new company will select a workforce of about 70 employees from its previous workforce of 185. A decision will take about 15 days. United Bicycles was declared bankrupt by the Court of Commerce in Tongeren, Belgium, on December 30. United Bicycles was € 9.4 million behind schedule with social security insurance premiums. On the day of the court verdict, the 185 employees and the unions were informed. All 185 have been dismissed. In 1999 MG industries, the predecessor of United Bicycles, went bankrupt. A restart was made by three private investors. Distribution was split off as a separate company. The philosophy behind United Bicycles was that being situated within a day’s ride of 60% of the EU population, a factory with a theoretical capacity of 600,000 bicycles would have its right of existence. But production probably never exceeded 200,000 units per year, including United’s IBD brand Avenue.(OB)

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