Yet Derby didnt. No proof has so far been provided that any formal due diligence was commissioned by Derby. Thats a shocking lapse considering Derby is bike-trade based and was always likely to be hugely affected by Sturmey Archer not performing.
Derby sold a 98 year old company with an internationally famous brand name to a company that BikeBiz, the Nottingham Evening Post and the Mail on Sunday, have shown to be nothing like the robust investment house Derby thought it to be.
According to yesterdays Mail on Sunday, other companies owned by Lenark Ltd. are now in trouble. One of its other summer purchases, Hawson Garner Ltd., a vehicle body maker, has had a winding-up order served on it after cheques bounced repeatedly.
The Mail reports that Lenark has now sold its shares in Hawson Garner to Midlands Marketing Ltd. This company is controlled by Alan Brigham, the new co-director of Sturmey Archer, appointed at Sturmeys first creditors meeting.
Brigham also controls Quinborne Ltd, a company BikeBiz revealed owned a part share in Lenark Ltd. and which has a string of county court judgements against it.
Simon Allso, the recently discharged bankrupt who has also served time for fraud, was a business advisor to Hawson Garner, just as he was a business advisor to Sturmey Archer (yet, in fact, called the shots).
Allso was part of the Lenark team who negotiated the Â£30 purchase of Sturmey Archer from Gary Matthews, CEO of the Derby Cycle Corporation.