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Tenneco Stops with Marzocchi; Take-Over Discussions Started

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LAKE FOREST, USA – Tenneco Inc. announces its intention to discontinue its Marzocchi Mountainbike and motorcycle fork suspension business and to liquidate its Marzocchi operations. According to Marzocchi’s (Ride Performance Europe) OE sales manager Maarten Maes production is to continue to the end of this year and take-over discussions already started.

Tenneco Stops with Marzocchi; Take-Over Discussions Started
In 2009 Marzocchi bike forks were produced at Suntour and shocks at Hodaka. At that time it was said production was to return to Bologna. – Photo Marzocchi

Tenneco bought Marzocchi in June 2008 just before the worldwide economic crisis started. “Challenges in the two-wheeler business,” are according to Teneco COO Brian Kesseler the reason for the stock market listed company to stop with Marzocchi. With this statement he points to double digit drops motorcycle sales in Europe had to endure in the past years as Marzocchi is a renowned name in particular high performance motorbikes.

In Mountainbikes and other bicycle categories Tenneco was not able to establish the same position as it has in the motorcycle business. Also because of the competition by RST, X-Fusion, RockShox, Suntour, Fox and others.

Letter to customers

Interesting is that the Tenneco press release contains the contact details for investor inquiries (lgolla@tenneco.com). It’s likely that the renowned Marzocchi brand name will be taken over. This is confirmed by a letter to customers dated July 22 by Marzocchi’s (Ride Performance Europe) OE sales manager Maarten Maes in which he states, “We are in discussion with potential buyers of the Tenneco Marzocchi assets.”

Marzocchi plant in Bologna

Ceasing its Marzocchi business will kill the jobs of 138 Marzocchi employees; Tenneco currently employs 127 people at the Marzocchi plant in Bologna, Italy where motorcycle and Mountainbike suspension forks are produced. An additional 11 people will lose their jobs in its operations in North America and Taiwan.

Tenneco intends to assist its motor bike customers with the transition of current production to an alternative supplier and expects to complete the closure by the end of 2015.

Liquidation process

This intended action is a part of Tenneco’s ongoing efforts to optimize its Ride Performance business globally while continuously improving its operations and increasing profitability. The company expects that the Marzocchi liquidation process to record charges of approximately US dollar 27 million € 25mn). Tenneco anticipates improving financial results by approximately US dollar 7 million (€ 6mn) annually, beginning in 2016.

Global manufacturing company

Tenneco is an US dollar 8.4 billion (€ 7.6bn) global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 29,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of clean air and ride performance products and systems for automotive, commercial truck, and off-highway original equipment markets, and the aftermarket. Tenneco’s principal brand names are Monroe, Walker, XNOx and Clevite Elastomer.

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