After months of deliberations, courts in Grenoble have reportedly awarded investment group Bourrelier the ownership of historic French cycling brand Mavic SAS.
Mavic’s recent troubles have been widely known as it entered into receivership – the French equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy – in May.
Over a dozen candidates put together proposals for an eventual takeover, the most celebrated being a candidature led by five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault along with French lawyer Didier Poulmaire, who had worked with Olympic swimmer Laure Manaudou as well as the Olympic Marseille soccer team.
But the Grenoble commercial court that is overseeing the receivership approved Bourrelier’s bid on Tuesday. Bourrelier formerly owned the Bricorama, the French home improvement retail chain.
According to the reports, the Bourrelier group provided a plan that would protect 105 jobs at Mavic, about half the current employees, a top priority under French receivership rules. The plan would maintain Mavic R&D facilities in Annecy, France, and production in St. Triviers.
“Mavic must rediscover the dimension of a family SME with agile governance and short and autonomous decision-making circuits that it has lacked in recent years, and with a refocus on what has made the success of the brand,” a Bourrelier Group representative told France Bleu Tuesday.
In an effort to return to the forefront of the industry, the new owners said they plan “to refocus on the rim, hub and wheel in aluminum and carbon, which have made Mavic successful and [well-known] among customers in search of performance.” The redirection would see the brand shift its focus away from its accessory line of clothing, shoes and helmets.
“We think it is the group that was needed for the takeover of Mavic,” said Gérard Meunier, secretary of Mavic. “It’s a coherent proposal that doesn’t want to destroy everything that we have created, but to perfect it.”
Regent LP, a California-based group, acquired Mavic from Amer Sports last year. Regent — which also acquired the Redline, iZip and Diamondback brands from Accell Group last year —told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) that Mavic U.S. would remain unaffected by the receivership in France. However, it’s unclear what role Regent plays in the French receivership process, and several U.S. dealers have told BRAIN that communication and customer service from Mavic USA has been problematic this year.
A group that represents labor at the Mavic facility near Annecy has complained in the French media that Regent did not invest in Mavic after the acquisition. David Steinhafel, the CEO of Mavic USA and a principal in Regent LP, has declined to comment on the receivership because of on-going legal disputes.