Wheel manufacturer Mavic has been placed into receivership by a French Commercial Court in Grenoble.
Receivership is initiated by creditors or banks that believe a business cannot pay its debts however, unlike in administration, directors cannot place their own company into receivership. The brand will now be taken over by a receiver who will control the assets and work in the interest of the creditors to avoid the company entering into liquidation.
Mavic was founded in 1889 and employs around 250 people worldwide including 200 at its base in Annecy. Last July, Mavic was supposedly sold from Amer Sports' portfolio to Regent
, a US based private equity firm that also owns Diamondback, however according to reports in the French media, the sale did not go through as planned.
Gérard Meunier, secretary of the Social and Economic Committee (CSE), told France3
, "People came to Annecy in July 2019 to tell us that we were a sleeping gem, that they believed in Mavic. And since then, nothing. Not an investment, not an answer."
In the past week, it has emerged that, since February this year, Mavic has actually been owned by someone else entirely - M Sports International LLC, a Delaware based firm who have left almost no trace on the internet. Mavic’s President, Gary Bryant, resigned on the same day that M Sports took over and M Sports replaced him with a representative from a turnaround company called BySaving. It's worth saying that Regent still seem to believe they own Mavic, and they have the brand listed on their website portfolio.
The French courts have said: "A few days ago, staff representatives learned that, contrary to what had been publicly announced, Salomon had not sold their business to Regent LP but to M Sports, based in Delaware (USA), with no capital link with Regent!” In short, it's all looking like a bit of a mess.
Mavic's Social and Economic Committee is demanding accounts from Salomon (a skiing brand under the umbrella of Amer Sports, and a co-resident of Mavic’s Annecy factory) to clarify the details surrounding the sale. Meunier said, "[We want to know] under what conditions Salomon and the Amer Sports group sold Mavic? And who is behind this company M Sports and why it acquired Mavic?”
The company is now entering a six month observation period by the court. They will investigate the conditions under which Amer Sports sold Mavic and the details of M Sports and how it ended up acquiring Mavic.