Norton sold to Indian TVS motorcycle company

Norton Motorcycles Donington Hall factory crowd

Troubled Norton Motorcycles has been rescued with the sale of “certain assets” to an indirect subsidiary of Indian motorcycle company TVS over night (17 April 2020).

Joint administrators BDO UK say the “cash deal” was for £16 million (about $A31.4m, $US20m, €18.4m).

However, the company owes its creditors a whopping £28,352,089 (more than $A57m).

At this point it is not confirmed how they will be paid and by whom.

Business restructuring partners Lee Causer, Ryan Grant and Danny Dartnaill say TVS Motor Company’s Indian subsidiary has “acquired the business and certain assets of Norton Motorcycles”.

It also includes a licence to occupy the existing Donington Hall factory for the next six months.

Norton Motorcycles NOT going bust!
Donnington Hall where Norton continues to build motorcycles

Norton sold

“The purchaser has agreed to work closely with customers in building the success and pre-eminence of Norton, and employees of Norton will transfer to the purchaser,” the administrators say in a statement.

“This acquisition will also unlock strong synergies between both the brands and propel Norton’s growth by leveraging TVS Motor Company’s global reach and supply chain capabilities.

“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.”

For the deal, a new company named Project 303 Bidco Ltd was incorporated and acquired by TVS Motor’s Singapore subsidiary for £1.

The subsidiary signed a purchase agreement to acquire certain assets including “Norton” and other associated brands. 

The administrators had more than 300 expressions of interest, 29 formal offers and was negotiating with eight potential buyers.

TVS Motor Company

TVS Motor Company is the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in India with revenue of more than $A4.4 billion last year.

They also make BMW G 310 motorcycles for the world market.

TVS joint MD Mr. Sudarshan Venu says it is a “momentous time” for their company.

“Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world,” he says.

“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.

“Norton will continue to retain its distinctive identity with dedicated and specific business plans,” Venu says.

He also said he was “excited” for Norton’s upcoming products, including the Commando, Dominator and V4RR.

There was no mention of the Atlas 650 bikes, whose engine was sold to a Chinese company.

Norton Atlas Nomad
Atlas Nomad

Administration

In January, Norton Motorcycles went into administration amid claims of pension fund frauds and a £300,000 unpair tax bill.

Almost half Norton’s £28m debt is in the 228 pension funds that owes £14m.

UK Pensions regulator is investigating boss Stuart Garner, pictured above in a UK government export campaign, over his role in the pension scheme to fraudulently fund his company.

Norton CEO Stuart Garner Norton Motorcycles
“Poster boy” Garner

The remainder of the debts are to secured creditor Metro Bank (£7m) and the rest to unsecured creditors.

In Australia, importers Brisbane Motorcycles have returned deposits to those who paid for bikes not yet delivered.

Dealer Principal James Mutton says he has not yet been contacted by BDO.

Norton Commando 961 Sport Mk II James Mutton crowd
James Mutton

“I think it is a good thing for the brand to have a company with motorcycle manufacturing experience take over operations,” he says.

“If they are able to do the prestige of the brand justice I think they can be a real competitor again.”

11 Comments

  1. +I am of he poor sods who paid in full for a bike I never received.I Ihate Garner for what he did to me
    and many others,but lets not forget or forgive RAY WILSON and KATE BROWN in sales who took
    our money knowing thatt there were no new bikes being produced.

  2. My first bike was a brand new Norton 850 commando in 1974. Ironically l just bought a brand new indian iron, horse, what are the odds in 2020.

  3. Don’t know why so many are stoked about TVS. (Should wait and see) So much excitement about Mr Garners shenanigans. Now Norton’s name has been dragged through the mud. I have been a Norton man since 1978. But never felt any connection to these … Gentlemen

  4. When is Stuart Garner going to jail? Have the liquidators sold the country estate and the Aston Martins? This guy was running a Ponzi Scheme collecting money for bikes he knew were never going to be delivered. He should be brought to book.

  5. Pity the Royal Enfield boys couldn’t buy it – seem to be switched on guys producing high quality product at very affordable prices. Would have kept it British too

  6. TVS, a good choice. Established supply lines in the motor industry, familiar with tooling for motorcycles as a manufacturer already, access to designers and a qualified work force. Let’s hope they produce viable machines with that iconic name on the tank….. A lot better choice than some ‘Hooray Henry’ with a dubious business past.

    1. I owned a BMW G310R made by TVS and the quality was very impressive. I am confident that the Norton brand has found a good home, although I wonder how much longer petrol engined motorcycles will be allowed.
      Funny to think that Triumphs, Royal Enfields, BSAs and Norton’s could all be being manufactured in India soon!

  7. TVS has the name but the Chinese concerns have two powertrains. In making Norton motorcycles, TVS will essentially be outsourcing every component from suppliers beyond India: engines from China, electrics from Europe, forks and suspension components hopefully from Andover Norton–all brought together in a TVS India assembly plant. Yes, it’s doable with the right people running things but time is NOT on their side. Those motorcycles have to be brought to market soon because too much time has elapsed fighting over the Norton corpse in the UK. Other manufacturers will be rolling out new models to entice buyers after this Covid-19 pandemic subsides. I hope TVS can succeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.