You are here

Report: Owner of Terry Bicycles may make bid for wool brand Ibex

Published December 18, 2017

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (BRAIN) — Liz Robert, the owner and CEO of Terry Bicycles, may make a bid to buy the troubled Vermont wool clothing brand Ibex, according to a report in Valley News, a local paper. 

Ibex announced earlier this year it would stop sales to retailers, and then announced it was preparing to shut down.

According to Valley News, Robert is partnering with a Vermont private equity firm to try to buy Ibex's assets in a bid to keep the business and its jobs in the state. Robert is also the former CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear.

Ibex's owners have hired Hilco Streambank to auction the brand's intellectual property. According to the Hilco Streambank listing for the assets, Ibex had sales of $21 million last year, including $10.3 million in direct sales, $6.5 million in wholesale, $2.6 million in direct sales through its own retail stores, and $1.65 million in international and other sales. (A Hilco Streambank pdf brochure on Ibex is attached).

"When I heard the company was imploding and the IP was up for sale, and I further understood there were folks from out of state that are interested in taking it over, I reached out to Vermont Works and other potential partners who could help put together a consortium to obtain financing and acquire the IP," Robert said in an interview with Valley News on Friday. "In doing that I would obviously leverage the operations and infrastructure I have with Terry Bicycles with the ongoing operations of Ibex."

Robert acquired Terry Bicycles in 2009

Ibex is continuing to operate with about 20 employees in Vermont and another 20 to 30 workers at its three company-owned stores in Boston, Denver and Seattle. Robert told Valley News that VF Corp. may bid for Ibex. VF Corp owns The North Face and SmartWool, and in November it purchased Icebreaker, a New Zealand wool brand.

Robert told Valley News that Terry Bicycles and Ibex would make a good fit. "Not only is there operationally overlap, but there is a neat synergy in the customer base," she told the paper.

Join the Conversation