Gericke UK safe despite parent firm’s woe

Published: 05 August 2003

Hein Gericke in the UK is carrying on trading as usual, despite German parent company Eurobike running into money problems.

The UK based part of the business " has no problems at all, " according to Joint managing director Guy Mainwaring.

Eurobike filed for insolvency in Dusseldorf on July 15, sparking rumours that its subsidiary holdings, which include Hein Gericke UK, were also in trouble.

But as the UK arm operates as a stand-alone business, the only effect is likely to be a new parent company, with no changes that customers will notice.

" We don’t rely on Germany at all, " says Mainwaring. " We’re stable and profitable. We order stock ourselves from our suppliers and we pay for it with our own money. All of us are confident about the situation. "

A new owner is expected within the next few weeks, with bids already submitted to take over either Eurobike or its various holdings. UK funds are being kept separate to make Hein Gericke UK an attractive proposition in its own right.

" Eurobike might disappear in the coming month, but Hein Gericke UK isn’t going to disappear because we’re so profitable and generating cash. The only outcome is that we’re likely to end up with a stronger parent company which can support its children better than at the moment. "

The UK firm has £7 million worth of stock, which is estimated to be enough for six months. Orders for 2004 are already prepared, and once a new owner is announced, the stocks will be ordered from suppliers in the Far East.

Although currently some design work takes place at the head office in Dusseldorf, an external company called G-Lab is also used, working to briefs directed by the UK head office. The arrival of new designs will not be affected by the changes to the parent company.

" Day-to-day involvement from Germany is zero. We have board meetings and submit reports, but that’s it. If anyone thinks we’re in trouble, then please, go into your local branch and take a look around, " said Mainwaring.

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