Derby's refinancing is "going well", says Raleigh MD

Philip Darnton, the Raleigh MD, told bikebiz.co.uk this morning that Lazards, the merchant bank organising Derby's refinancing, has approached seven banks, two of which have started 'due diligence' on Derby companies worldwide. But will Gazelle be part of the mix or will its MBO go through?
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The two banks are Deutschebank and Citibank. Both have already visited Raleigh UK and are now doing 'due diligence' on Derby companies in Europe, including Gazelle, the management of which is trying to get an MBO package together.

Raleigh UK this morning issued a press release concerning the refinacing, the progress of the factory relocation, and two new board appointments.


Here's the full text of the Raleigh press release:

THE RALEIGH REBUILDING PROGRAMME

“ON TRACK FOR GROWTH”


Raleigh UK is now embarking on a series of major initiatives to build on its inherent strengths as the leading UK branded bicycle builder. This news comes after two difficult years, culminating in the recent publication of the Derby Group results for the year 2000. The launch of these initiatives heralds the start of the rebuilding programme.

The Executive Chairman, Alan Finden-Crofts, has already announced the outline plan to refinance the Group, and an announcement about the new financial structure will be made within the next three months. The intention will be to reduce dramatically the borrowings of the new entity, enabling it to re-establish its leading position in the major markets of its operations. To this end, two international banks have already started their “due diligence” process, and have completed their assessment of Raleigh UK.

Simultaneously, plans for a new site for the Raleigh UK plant in Nottingham are progressing well. The relocation is planned to be finalised in 2003. The next stage is the application for planning permission, which will be put forward to the City Council shortly; the project is on schedule for building work to commence early in 2002.

Two senior Executive Team appointments are also announced as part of the overall regeneration of the Raleigh UK business.

Mike Reynolds joins as Director of Product and Sourcing. Mike is a very well known member of the bicycle industry and brings into the Company more than 20 years of bike industry experience. His work history includes time at Halfords Ltd. and nearly 10 years as Sales and Marketing Director of Tradewinds. More recently he has been a regular contributor to “Bike Europe” and has worked globally on freelance design, sourcing and manufacturing projects. Mike also assumes responsibility for manufacturing at Nottingham.

Bringing the Executive Team to full strength, Keith Tessyman becomes Head of Finance, reporting to the Managing Director, Phillip Darnton. Keith, who has been a member of the Finance Group at Raleigh UK for eight years, brings with him experience of most aspects of the financial management of the business. This appointment follows the departure of David Fatkin (Finance Director) who is pursuing a career outside the cycle industry. Keith will be appointed as Company Secretary for Raleigh Industries Ltd.

As a consequence of these key appointments, Raleigh UK will realign the responsibilities of the Executive Team as follows:

· Steve Davey, Sales and Marketing Director, will also assume responsibility for Distribution. Steve Wigley, Distribution Manager, will report to him. Responsibility for brand marketing and sales issues for Raleigh Ireland and Raleigh Europe – both of which currently report to the Managing Director – will be transferred to Steve Davey.

· Mike Reynolds, Product and Sourcing Director, will be responsible for the Product Management team led by Product Director, Xavier Redois; for Procurement, headed by Chris Weedon; for Manufacturing, led by Steve White, the Manufacturing Manager in Nottingham, and Richard Hickman for Quality Assurance.

· Allan Spencer, Operations and HR Director, will therefore be released from some of his existing day to day manufacturing responsibilities to focus on the new Factory Project as it moves into the detailed planning phase. Allan will also assume responsibility for the Business Planning Process, previously managed by David Fatkin, as well as for all HR activities across the business. Additionally, Allan will be responsible for site engineering issues, including all out-sourced sources, at the Triumph Road facility.

These changes signal the first initiatives of Raleigh UK to revitalise and realign the business to ensure that by the time it relocates, it is well on the road to a new successful era in its history.

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