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Erik Buell Racing manufacturing assets sold
14-1-2016 - Erik Buell Racing manufacturing assets sold at third auction By Rick Barrett of the Journal Sentinel Updated Jan. 13, 2016
The manufacturing assets of Erik Buell Racing were sold Wednesday at yet another auction for about $2 million.
Liquid Asset Partners of Grand Rapids, Mich., won the bidding for the motorcycle company that manufactured high-performance bikes and employed 130 people in East Troy until it ceased operations in April and filed for receivership, a state court proceeding similar to bankruptcy.
It was the third auction for the Buell manufacturing assets. A hearing has been scheduled for Thursday before Walworth County Circuit Judge Phillip Koss to approve the results of the sale.
Earlier, Bruce Belfer of West Allenhurst, N.J., agreed to acquire the manufacturing assets for $2.25 million. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and owner of several businesses, including a company that manufactures architectural metals products.
Belfer, however, twice failed to meet deadlines to close on the purchase, according to court documents.
Court-appointed receiver Michael Polsky then sought approval of a $1.6 million sale of the manufacturing assets to Liquid Asset Partners, which made the offer before an auction held Dec. 14. That auction, the second in the case, attracted no other bids.
On Wednesday, a court filing indicated that Polsky favored the results of the third auction.
"The amount bid by Liquid Asset is in excess of the liquidation value of the manufacturing assets. The Receiver believes that the proposed sale...is in the best interest of all creditors and parties-in-interest in this matter," Polsky wrote.
Earlier, the design consulting business of Erik Buell Racing was sold for $2.8 million to Hero Moto-Corp., an India-based cycle company that in 2013 had acquired a 49% stake in the firm.
Court records showed that Erik Buell Racing had $20.8 million in assets and $20.4 million in liabilities when it sought receivership.
Former employees were owed $202,000 in paid time off, and some of the largest amounts owed to creditors included $733,000 to Mito Tech Co., a Japanese engine design firm, and $390,000 to Porsche Engineering Group.
Rick Barrett covers manufacturing, telecom and agriculture. He has received Best in Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and was co-recipient of a Barlett & Steele award for investigative business journalism.