BDO sells Norton Motorcycles in £16m deal

Administrators from BDO have successfully sold Norton Motorcycles, the British brand ridden by Che Guevara and Clint Eastwood, to an Indian two-wheeler manufacturer, in a £16m all-cash deal agreed following the company’s collapse at the start of the year

BDO business restructuring partners Lee Causer, Ryan Grant and Danny Dartnaill have secured the sale of certain assets of Norton Motorcycle Holdings Ltd (in administration) and Norton Motorcycles (UK) Ltd (in administration) to an indirect subsidiary of TVS Motor Company Ltd.

TVS Motor Company is a well-known two-wheeler manufacturer in India and globally and is the flagship company of the $8.5bn (£6.8bn) TVS Group, headquartered in Chennai.

Under the agreement, TVS Motor Company’s subsidiary has acquired the business and certain assets of Norton Motorcycles, as well as a licence to occupy the existing manufacturing premises for the next six months.

The buyer has agreed to work closely with customers in building on the company’s pre-eminent reputation, and employees of Norton will transfer to the purchaser. The aim of the acquisition is to boost Norton’s growth by leveraging TVS Motor Company’s global reach and supply chain capabilities.

Lee Causer, BDO partner and joint administrator, said: ‘In challenging circumstances, we have been able to secure the future of the Norton brand. We are delighted that the sale to TVS Motor Company will protect jobs and provide a highly beneficial outcome to creditors.’

Sudarshan Venu, joint managing director, TVS Motor Company said: ‘This is a momentous time for us at TVS Motor Company. Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world. 

‘Norton with its exciting range of products presents us with an immense opportunity to cater to the aspiration of discerning motorcycle customers around the world. We will extend our full support to Norton to regain its rightful glory.’

At the end of January Norton’s lender Metro Bank called in BDO as financial problems mounted.  The company had faced a winding up petition from HMRC over a disputed £300,000 tax bill over research and development (R&D) tax relief, while CEO Stuart Garner was under scrutiny over arrangements for the pension scheme.

Garner, an entrepreneur and property developer, rescued Norton in 2008, when the 110-year old company first fell into financial difficulties and moved production to Castle Donington.

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