Ashley Ball has secured the ownership of the Orange Bikes brand after founders Lester Noble and Steve Wade step aside. Ball is a director of P. Bairstow, a sheet metal work fabricator of Elland, West Yorkshire, close to Orange's Halifax base. Bairstow's has been a long-time sub-contractor of Orange Bikes, making the company's UK-built frames. Ball becomes the Orange Bikes MD.
"It was important to find someone with the right belief and ability to continue with the Orange Bikes philosophy and build upon solid company foundations," said Noble, who co-founded the brand in 1988.
Ball has been running Bairstow's since 2000.
"After negotiations from several candidates it became increasingly obvious that Ash was head and shoulders above the rest to fill the criteria," said Wade.
Noble added: “We’ve been looking a for suitor to carry on the work we’ve done with Orange Bikes, and we did not want to go down the big-corporate-buyout route as so many others have done – that's just not the Orange way. When Ashley made it clear to us he would like to take over at Orange, we quickly realised our search was over and began negotiating the details that these things always involve.”
Wade said: “I am very happy that Ashley has taken on the role. He has always worked closely with me on the design, prototyping and manufacture of Orange’s UK frame production, Ash will now take the company on for the next generation.”
Ball, who took control of Orange on 1st October, said: “As one of Orange’s earliest fans it is important to me that the core values of the brand and its products are protected while embarking on a vision to broaden the range of bikes and establish the brand in new markets. To carry the mantle of Orange bikes is an incredible responsibility but also presents an amazing opportunity.”