SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Bob Stapleton, the former owner and manager of the Highroad pro cycling team, has purchased the intellectual property of the Mad Fiber Wheel company in a bankruptcy auction for $31,000, according to court filings.
In a brief email to BRAIN, Stapleton indicated he would change the wheel brand's name, but said it's "a work in progress. I am at the talking-to-smart-people stage, and will build from the innovation already done."
The Seattle-based wheel company, formally called DCG Wheels, was rolled up by the Divine Cycling Group last year. The wheel company and Divine filed for bankrutpcy separately in December. DCG Wheels listed liabilities of $1.65 million and assets of $1.21 million in its bankruptcy filing.
Stapleton outbid SRAM for the intellectual property, which includes patents and trademarks. Scott King, bidding on behalf of SRAM, bid $5,000 in the online auction that ended Jan. 28.
Stapleton made millions as a high tech entrepreneur, selling his company VoiceStream Wireless to Deutsche Telekom for $50 billion in 2000. That connection to Deutsche Telekom led him to eventually become manager of the T-Mobile cycling team. He later took over ownership of the team organization through his company High Road. The Highroad team included stars like Mark Cavendish and George Hincapie and went through several title sponsors, including Columbia and HTC, before shutting down at the end of the 2011 season.
John Reichstein, bidding on behalf of a company called "Econ" in the court filings, won the auction for Mad Fiber's tooling and remaining non-intellectual property. Reichstein won with a $7,000 bid.
According to public records, a Bellingham, Wash., company called E-Con Equipment is owned by John Reichstein.