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Unsecured creditors sue 'insider group' to recover debts from ASE

Published April 8, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. (BRAIN) — A committee of unsecured debtors — whose members include a long list of bicycle suppliers owed millions by the bankrupt former owner of Performance Bicycle and ASI — is suing some of the companies that hold preferential positions in a bid to increase the amount of debt they are ultimately able to recover.

Advanced Sports Enterprises was renamed AE Bicycle Liquidation, Inc. soon after the company sold most of its assets for $23 million in February. 

Proceeds of that sale, plus the sale of store inventory and other assets, will go first to the company's secured creditors, led by Wells Fargo Bank, which was owed more than $20 million.

Other companies currently considered secured creditors include Ideal Bicycle, the Taiwan-based manufacturer, and related companies Top Sport International Holdings, Econotrade Ltd. and Advanced Holdings Co. LTD.

The unsecured debtors committee is suing that group of four, which it calls "the Ideal Defendants," charging that they are insiders who are not entitled to be first in line to receive proceeds from the AE Bicycle Liquidation estate as it is wound down. They are also seeking to recover over $31 million in payments that ASE made to members of the group in the months before the company filed for bankruptcy last November.

The defendants have not responded to the complaint filed by the group on Friday. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June.

Unsecured creditors could file claims against AE until last month.

The list of unsecured creditors is topped by two bike manufacturers: Active Cycles of China and PT Insera Sena of Indonesia (also known as Polygon Bikes, a part owner of Marin Bikes). Active Cycles is owed $4.6 million and PT Insera Sena is owed $3 million. Another manufacturer, Shanghai General Sports, is owed $1.7 million, while Vista Outdoor, the parent of Giro, Bell and CamelBak, is owed $1.9 million. Ramiko Company, a Taiwanese trading company, is owed $1.5 million.

The U.S. IRS (owed $2.3 million) and shipper UPS (owed $1.4 million) also are among the larger unsecured creditors. The full list contains more than 600 creditors, including Performance store landlords, various service providers and tax collectors.

Lower down on the list are an array of suppliers well-known to the U.S. bike industry:

  • Highway 2: $569,000
  • Todson: $528,000
  • NiteRider: $306,000
  • Saris: $291,000
  • Garmin: $290,000
  • ElliptiGo:$273,000
  • J&B: $258,000
  • Castelli: $249,000
  • Marin: $234,000
  • Elite: $226,000
  • Clif Bar: $218,000
  • Lezyne: $207,000
  • Louis Garneau: $207,000
  • Wahoo: $202,000
  • QBP: $185,000
  • StaTru: $152,000
  • CatEye: $121,000
  • CamelBak: $103,000

Bike suppliers owed less than $100,000 include SRAM, Finish Line, Leavtt, Park Tool, Lake, Floyd's, Thule, Team TIBCO, DeFeet, Delta Cycle, ACT Testing, Skratch, Kemco, Showers Pass, Paceline, Speedplay, Tifosi, pro racer Jeremy Powers, and others.

Topics associated with this article: Lawsuits/legal

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