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Pacific wins Schwinn/GT bidding war

The bidding war between Huffy and Pacific Cycle over the bankrupt Schwinn and GT brands ended Wednesday when a US District Court bankruptcy judge approved a joint $151 million bid offered up by Pacific and a third firm, Direct Focus. Pacific Cycle is now slated to acquire both bicycle brands while Direct Focus will assume control of the Schwinn fitness brand. After the combined bid was accepted by Judge Sidney Brooks, Pacific CEO Chris Hornung pledged to renew Schwinn and GT’s relationship with the network of independent dealers handling the brands across the country. “This is a landmark

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The bidding war between Huffy and Pacific Cycle over the bankrupt Schwinn and GT brands ended Wednesday when a US District Court bankruptcy judge approved a joint $151 million bid offered up by Pacific and a third firm, Direct Focus.

Pacific Cycle is now slated to acquire both bicycle brands while Direct Focus will assume control of the Schwinn fitness brand. After the combined bid was accepted by Judge Sidney Brooks, Pacific CEO Chris Hornung pledged to renew Schwinn and GT’s relationship with the network of independent dealers handling the brands across the country.

“This is a landmark day for Pacific and for Schwinn/GT dealers,” said Hornung. “The Schwinn name is an American icon. It is the brand that many Americans grew up with and aspired to own. We feel that we offer the best opportunity in a generation to restore vitality to the Schwinn brand.

“One of the biggest benefits of the brand is the strong dealer network. While it’s extremely unfortunate that the bankruptcy process resulted in the dissolving of dealer agreements, it’s our intention to quickly restore the network of independent Schwinn and GT dealers. We also plan to immediately establish clear and open communications and hope to begin meeting with a group of dealers this week.”

The company, however, must first reestablish shipments of both lines’ 2002 model year product since Asian manufacturers there cut off shipments when Schwinn/GT tenuous financial condition became apparent this spring.

The company plans to announce details at the end of the month at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas.

While Pacific said the company has a “commitment” to independent dealers, Hornung followed up with comments that will probably do little to reassure wary dealers.

“While we are considering our options, the earliest we would introduce Schwinn to mass retail would be Fall, 2002,” he said.