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Currie Gets $6.5 Million Capital Infusion

Published April 6, 2010

CHATSWORTH, CA (BRAIN)—Currie Acquisitions LLC (dba Currie Technologies) has received a $6.5 million investment infusion from Main Street Capital Corporation—a Houston-based private equity firm.

The investment gives Main Street Capital a 47 percent interest in the country's biggest e-bike distributor. The majority interest is held by the equity holders of Currie Acquisitions, which includes Currie's president Larry Pizzi and other investors.

"We have been talking to Main Street Capital for some time and decided that the timing was right to fund some of our growth initiatives," Pizzi said. "The capital was raised to fund U.S. and international specialty channel expansion."

Back in February 2009 Currie Technologies was acquired by Risk equity Partners, a California-based investment group. A year prior Currie Technologies filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code after losing a significant legal dispute with a large electric utility company, Central and Southwestern Corporation (CSW). The dispute dated back to 2001 when CSW’s subsidiary, Total EV–a distributor of electric vehicles, rapidly wound down operations after it was acquired by American Electric Power (“AEP”), adversely affecting Currie’s business.

Just last month Currie released its new Izip Express using Evo Drive.

“It relies on the differential drive technology developed by Michael Kutter and his company Dolphin, and some tricky hub technology from Sturmey-Archer to pull it off,” Pizzi said.

Sturmey’s patented hybrid drive rear hub combines a dual input planetary drive to blend human and electric power. Dolphin’s patented pedal-electric hybrid drive system uses a transmission similar to the hybrid mechanics found in some hybrid automobiles.

Thus far in 2010 Main Street Capital has invested $11 million in other debt securities.

—Jason Norman

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