Erik Buell Racing assets up for auction — again

Previous winning bidder unable to secure financing, new auction scheduled for December 10

erik buell racing assets up for auction again
The ongoing saga of the currently defunct Erik Buell Racing motorcycle manufacturing company continues, with the remaining assets going back up for auction on December 10.

It appears the saga of Erik Buell Racing has once again taken another turn, as the previous winning bidder of the auction for the remaining assets of the company held in August was unable to secure financing to close the deal in the required time due to various circumstances. This has resulted in those remaining assets being once again put up for auction by the county circuit court on December 10, 2015.

According to a story in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, motorcycle enthusiast Bruce Belfer of West Allenhurst, N.J., made a successful $2.25 million bid for the remaining manufacturing assets of Erik Buell Racing back in August at the first court-appointed auction (after Hero Motocorp Ltd., who had previously signed a $23 million R&D consultancy with EBR, had arranged with the court to purchase the remaining consultancy assets for $2.8 million). Belfer, who owns several businesses in New Jersey, is quoted in the story as stating that he had until September 30 to come up with the funds to close the deal. The problem was that he was unable to secure financing for the $2.25 million in time due to the balance sheet for the assets not being finalized. Financial institutions cannot lend out money unless they are absolutely sure of the assets (i.e., collateral) they are loaning the funds for.

And the reason for the uncertain balance sheet? According to Belfer, Hero Motocorp still had rights "to claim against inventory until October 6." In another story published by the Milwaukee Business Journal, it was reported that there was still "an outstanding settlement between Erik Buell Racing and Hero MotoCorp concerning the consulting business" that hadn't been rectified, and Belfer is quoted as stating that the business is not worth the same as when he originally bid $2.25 million because "The assets are smaller, some have been removed...it's worth less than it was before." There were inferences that perhaps the situation had been planned in advance; Belfer stated in the MWJS story that, "I've done some tough deals in my career. But this was, in my opinion, intentionally complicated...if you want some idea of what it's been like, try taking a deep breath on August 5th and holding it for three months."

Belfer states that he still wants to buy the remaining EBR assets and resurrect the company, with Erik Buell on board as part of the management structure. So it's likely Belfer will be present at the December auction to bid again, although according to the story, Buell claims there were other interested parties (other than liquidators, who were the only other bidders at the August auction, according to Belfer) who were interested in EBR, but just not ready at the August auction to bid. Everyone will soon find out on December 10.