Bicycle Manufacturer Minerva Bankrupt
PAAL-BERINGEN, Belgium – Bicycle manufacturer Minerva was declared bankrupt on June 25, 2015 by the Commercial Court in Limburg (Belgium). CEO Peter Bruggeman filed for bankruptcy. The cause is an accumulation of setbacks after high investments in new premises in 2013. 16 people were employed by Minerva.
Three years ago Minerva invested in a new building with a large warehouse near the E313 highway. “We have invested in our new headquarters and warehouse to be ready for the future,” said CEO Peter Bruggeman. “But at the same time it brought a substantial increase in costs. This, along with a disappointing season in 2013 in terms of sales results due to a cold spring, is the basis of the bankruptcy.”
After that it became a downward spiral with setback after setback. Bruggeman explains, “Unfortunately we had to deliver the 2014 model year of Minerva bikes a few months late because of problems with the paint supplier. As a result we had a lot of stock in the winter of 2014-2015. The consequence is that all your money is in stock, which withholds you from investing in other brands and products, which your customers need. What you see happening then is that customers’ confidence is lost.”
Distributor E Move and Etixx
Minerva NV produced a range of city/trekking bikes under the brand name Minerva, and had introduced in early 2014 its own brand Scoppio for race bikes. The Belgian producer/importer had also e-bikes in their range; Minerva was the exclusive distributor of E Move. “With E Move we had already stopped in November 2014, in consultation with the FDC Invest/EBD, the provider of E Move,” says Bruggeman.
Since last year the Belgian manufacturer and wholesaler was also the distributor of the nutritional and dietary supplements brand Etixx. In the Netherlands Minerva had about 150 Etixx-dealers. “For Etixx it is a different story,” Bruggeman explains. “This is simply continued by parent company Omega Pharma. For dealers who sell Etixx, nothing changes.”
No restart, looking out for takeover parties
The total number of Minerva and Scoppio dealers in the Benelux is around 200. Bruggeman says, “We have no Minerva dealers in the Netherlands, because the bikes have too much of a Belgian look. For Scoppio however we have about forty Dutch dealers.” No orders can currently be done and no bicycles are extradited, and warranty not given at the moment.
Minerva interesting brand for Dutch wholesale
The curator together with Bruggeman is looking for possible acquisition candidates. This may involve the whole company, but also the individual brands Minerva and Scoppio.
Bruggeman believes that Minerva is an be interesting opportunity for a Dutch wholesaler who wants to gain a foothold in Belgium.
Besides the two bicycle brands and nutritional brand Etixx, Minerva had also a wide range of bicycle parts agencies, including Shimano, Campagnolo, KMC, Tacx, Continental, Compressport, Crono shoes, Xentis, Challenge and DEDA Elementi.