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Tiger Group wins bid to buy ASE assets

Published February 2, 2019

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BRAIN) — A group of four companies called the Tiger Group submitted the winning bid to buy the assets of Advanced Sports Enterprises for just over $23 million on Friday. A bankruptcy judge approved the bid at the end of a roughly 8-hour hearing; a sales closing is expected Tuesday.

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The group includes:

  • Tiger Capital Group LLC, a well-known liquidator that is currently selling 798 Gymboree and Crazy 8 retail locations. Last year it helped liquidate 735 Toys R Us stores.
  • Advanced Holdings Co. LTD, a private equity firm based in Hong Kong, which specializes in investing in Asian and international companies. Advanced Holdings has ties to the owner of Ideal Bike and is a secured creditor of ASE. Advanced Holdings loaned $7 million to ASE in 2017.
  • Amain.com, Inc., the parent company of Amain Hobby and Amain Cycling, an e-commerce retailer with a brick & mortar location in Chico, California. 
  • K&B Investment Corporation, a real estate investment company connected to the Miami-based distributor J&B Imports.

Tiger Capital Group and Advanced Holdings Co. LTD jointly formed BikeCo, LCC, the firm that submitted the winning bid along with Amain and K&B.

BikeCo agreed to purchase the assets of ASE's wholesale business, ASI, including its bike trademarks (which include Fuji, Kestrel, Breezer and SE) and wholesale business, while Amain will buy the Performance and Nashbar e-commerce businesses including web domains, and trademarks for the two brands and their house P&A brands.

K&B agreed to purchase ASE's property and buildings in North Carolina and Philadelphia. 

The Tiger Group bid emerged after HTM US Holdings — a company connected to Head, the ski and tennis brand — was declared winner of a Jan. 16 asset auction, but then insisted that the purchased assets include $9 million in cash held by ASE. ASE's creditors, including Wells Fargo Bank, would not agree to those terms.

Head remained involved in the negotiations until Friday's hearing, and at one point agreed to drop its claim that the sale should include the $9 million cash. But the company did not participate in the final "closed envelope" bidding process. Tiger Group's winning bid was for $23,018,000.

The total resulted from bids from BikeCo of $16,148,000; from Amain of $1,245,000; and from K&B of $4,625,000.

A source familiar with the bid said that the Tiger Group has not said if it will assume the leases and continue operating the approximately 62 Performance store locations that remain open. About 40 other stores have already been closed.

Separately, Specialized has agreed to buy the Roubaix bike trademark from ASE for $700,000. Liquidation sales at Performance stores have raised at least $9 million so far, with some inventory remaining. Combined, the bankruptcy asset sales and the liquidation sales have raised about $33 million.

In its initial petitions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, ASE and its divisions listed total secured debts of more than $80 million, including more than $20 million owed to Wells Fargo. Additionally, ASE's unsecured debts are at least $20 million, with claims to be accepted until March. It could be over a year before the proceeds, minus administrative costs, will be distributed to creditors. 

Topics associated with this article: ASE Bankruptcy

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