Erik Buell Racing Assets Sold
April 15 is the dreaded tax day for most, but for Erik Buell, this date is even more dreadful. Erik Buell Racing ceased operations on April 15, 2015, and filed for Chapter 128 Protection under a Wisconsin statute that has characteristics of both bankruptcy and debt consolidation.
EBR, which was based out of East Troy, Wis., was funded by the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp., and Erik Buell himself. The Indian Hero MotoCorp paid Buell $25 million for 49 percent of the company. Last month, rumors began that Hero would purchase 100 percent of Erik Buell Racing, and offer Erik full time. But these were just that – rumors.
Things changed this week, though, when Erik Buell Racing was acquired by the New Jersey-Atlantic Metals Group LLC when EBR’s assets were sold at auction. Not surprisingly, Hero MotoCorp is also involved, and will take care of consulting services as Atlantic assumes all operations.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that EBR sold for $2.25 million, which includes all motorcycle and parts inventory, machinery, tooling, and intangible assets such as trademarks and designs completed on future EBR products. Milwaukee court records say EBR has $20.8 million in assets, and $20.4 million in liabilities, the latter including everything that’s owed to former employees and other companies. At the moment it is unclear of how much of these assets and liabilities will be assumed by Atlantic and Hero.
Atlantic owner Bruce Belfer will serve as CEO, and Erik Buell will remain as president. For now, all operations are set for New Jersey, and its unknown if any of the former 126 EBR employees will join the new team.
This signifies Act 3 of the Erik Buell saga – first with Harley-Davidson, then on his own with future backing by Hero MotoCorp, and now owned by the East Coast company Atlantic Metals Group LLC.
Erik Buell – ex-Harley-Davidson engineer – began creating motorcycles in 1983. Harley purchased 49 percent of the company in 1993, and in 2003 “Buell” became a subsidiary of The Motor Company. But after nearly 137,000 Buell motorcycles sold to mostly a cult-following, Harley dropped Buell in October 2009.
From there, Erik Buell lost the rights to his own name, and began EBR (Erik Buell Racing). Its first bike was a race-only 1125R. After some wheeling and dealing, Erik Buell purchased some V-twin engines and tooling from Rotax, and soon the street-going 1190RX arrived.
In need of some financial help, Erik sold 49 percent of the company in the summer of 2013 to the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, for $25 million. Soon EBR had entered World Superbike – the first American manufacturer to enter the series – but due to financial stress, the company ceased operations April 15, 2015. And now the EBR purchase by Atlantic, with consulting by Hero MotoCorp.
Stay clicked to Ultimate MotorCycling for an exclusive insider’s look at this developing story.