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Norton Motorcycles in court over £300,000 in unpaid taxes

Published: 09 January 2020

Updated: 09 January 2020

Representatives from Norton Motorcycles appeared at the Insolvency and Companies Court in London yesterday to contest a winding up petition regarding £300,000 of unpaid taxes.

Norton’s owner, Stuart Garner, says he is working with HM Revenue and Customs to resolve the matter, claiming the money owed is largely covered by outstanding research and development tax relief currently owed to the company.

Leicestershire Live have reported that the court heard how the Donington-based manufacturer originally owed around £600,000 – however, half of that figure has now been paid.

HMRC’s barrister told Judge Sebastian Prentis that because the company is making payments and the debt figure had reduced, they were seeking an adjournment, requesting 63 days for the outstanding amount to be settled.

Judge Prentis adjourned the hearing until February 12.

In late November 2019, Norton secured backing from an anonymous investor, having previously looked to raise £1m by setting aside 4-5% of the company’s worth for small investor stakes starting from as little as £50.

Speaking after the hearing yesterday, Garner told Leicestershire Live: "They have extended the time we have to pay and agreed the payment we have put to them.

"This was the formality of what we have agreed over the past few months and wraps around research and development tax credits which have been delayed.

"We have paid an element of the cash and the figure left is, in essence, the R&D balance.

"It has been frustrating that the tax credits have taken so long to come through. We have spent about £13 million in R&D in the last three-four years so it is frustrating that this has taken so long."

Norton gets cash injection from single investor

First published 21 November 2019

Norton motorcycles on the production line

Norton have confirmed to MCN that they have secured the backing of a single investor and are no longer looking to sell smaller stakes of the company to raise capital. Full details and the identity of the investor will be revealed in the New Year.

The British manufacturer had previously sought to raise £1m by setting aside 4-5% of the company’s worth for small investor stakes starting from as little as £50. No money will be taken from the almost 5000 people who had registered their interest in becoming a stakeholder – and the registration page has now been removed.

Norton have been working at capacity to fulfil its orders on models like its flagship V4 SS and V4 RR superbikes, while simultaneously launching the more affordable Atlas Ranger and Nomad 650 scramblers.

And we’ve also seen limited-edition models like the carbon-framed, supercharged Superlight SS and Dominator Street announced.

Norton Head of Design, Simon Skinner said: "We are focusing hard on producing the V4s and the Atlas right now and are just starting to build the Superlights with delivery starting in the New Year. Superlight SS delivery is expected to start in the middle of next year."

Fighting the funding hole

First published 20 November 2019

Norton investment campaign

While Norton are still battling to fulfil orders of current models, owner Stuart Garner is adamant that things are on track, and he has now appealed to the biking community to invest in Norton.

Garner said: "We are giving the people who understand Norton and motorcycles an opportunity to get involved. People can spend as little as £50 for a small stake in Norton.

"Having spoken to the big bankers, they just don’t get it. We are turning to our own people. We will set aside 4-5% of the business to help us raise around £1m of capital.

"We already have £1.5m from the Midlands Engine Fund and with community investment, we can move forwards. We have a full order book and the response has been brilliant so far. We’ve been here 10 years and we’re still growing and building amazing bikes."

Norton looks for investment

First published 30 August 2019

Norton Atlas Nomad and Ranger

Norton are seeking £5m of investment to help fund the building of the new factory at their Donington Park site and to speed up production of its new Atlas range; the 650 Nomad and Ranger twins.

Garner added: "We are talking to banks, financial institutions and individuals in a bid to find one investor to take up this opportunity. It could mean that the investor owns some equity in the company or it could be a loan of some sort.

"If the deal does become an equity arrangement, it will be a minority holding as I am keen to retain control so that I can continue to drive Norton forwards. We are in talks with several interested parties already and hope to make an announcement soon. We have a full order book for the new Atlas, plans for more new models and the future is very bright."

Garner expects the new factory to be finished by the end of September with full production of the Atlas range moving into the new facility. Early Atlas models are being assembled on the current production line with deliveries planned to begin in October.

Norton are also still in full swing fulfilling orders of the V4 superbike. Garner explained: "Nearly all of the Norton V4SS (£44,000) orders have been completed and we are about to really ramp up production of the RR (£28,000). We are a little behind as this is a complicated machine to build, but we have now got our supply chain sorted and expect to turn things around pretty quickly now."

Norton Breaks ground on factory extension

First published 10 April 2019

Norton factory

Norton Motorcycles are building a huge addition to their existing factory in order to gear-up for production of their new range of affordable Atlas 650cc models.

The 12,000 square-foot extension to the firm’s existing base at Donington Hall will enable the Derbyshire bike builders to massively increase their production capabilities, moving much of the assembly line from their existing buildings into the bespoke production facility.

While V4 SS production is now moving at pace, the core of the new facility will be used to build the all-new Atlas Nomad (£9995) and Atlas Ranger (£11,995), which share a new 650cc parallel-twin engine, chassis and electronics package, but differ in styling. The pair are aimed at road riders who want to be able to duck down the odd greenlane at the weekend, with the taller Ranger being the more off-road focused of the duo.

"The manufacturing of parts, welding, CNC machining and paint-shop will remain in the Technical Academy building," Norton CEO Stuart Garner told MCN, "while assembly and stores will move into the new factory. There’ll also be a bench dyno and engine test cell which allows us to take an engine from design all the way through development and into a customer’s bike all in-house.

"The new factory allows us to increase our production capacity to 5000 units per year (4000 more than current – Ed) – and if we need more, we can join the two wings together. We’re planning to double production over the next couple of years and then again so that by 2023 we could be at that 5000-bike production figure."

Atlas prototypes are now undergoing full testing, while the race department are putting their efforts into getting the V4-derived Superlight 650 ready for the Lightweight TT. The Superlight will also be sold for road and race use, while Atlas 650 deliveries are expected to start this Summer.

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