The news leaking out of a corner of the Peak District is true – Dan Stanton has successfully bought back control of Stanton Bikes (or Stanton Bicycles Ltd as the new business is officially called). There’ll be more detail to come and we’ll be chatting to Dan once he’s got a few things straightened out.
For now, Dan and the team have issued us a brief update over what’s been happening and say they’re very keen to get the full, transparent story out there. The administration was something that Dan never wanted to happen but became inevitable when the company’s long-standing financial backer had a change of heart. The business had managed to ride the Brexit/Covid rollercoaster and was in an optimistic, stock rich place but the sharp dip following the war in Ukraine prompted the investor to pull out in the hope of recovering money by dissolving the company or finding a buyer.
“After what has been a personally arduous and difficult period the news is that Dan Stanton was deemed to have the most suitable offer to take the business forward.’“
They are busy behind the scenes getting everything in shape to get up and running again. The newly formed Stanton Bicycles (the ‘old’ Stanton Bikes ceased to exist once the administrator took over in November) will be a leaner, simpler operation initially just supplying frames. The product line-up will remain the same and the paintshop will still be creating all the custom finishes. However, there’ll be no in-house frame fabrication for now so, apart from existing UK-made stock, the offering will be the regular steel or titanium made by their long standing partners in Asia, prepped and finished as usual in the Derbyshire factory.
You’ll be able to buy through a completely new, more user-friendly, webstore that is currently under construction. The aim is to be open for business during w/c 13th Feb but Dan and his colleagues have asked everyone to please bear with them as they begin the process of coming back to life.
Dan would like to place on record his sincere thanks to everyone, from customers to industry peers, for their support and encouragement during what has been an immensely tough time.
“The outcome is more than I dared hoped for and I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love. This is a golden opportunity for a reset after a crazy few years, get our heads up and start looking down the trail with a whole new energy!”
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Dan’s got a pile of admin and housekeeping to get through before he can sit down with us for the full story, but in the meantime we asked him a couple of specific questions we know lots of people are asking:
Will suppliers be out of pocket?
Our manufacturing suppliers – no. We are continuing with all existing arrangements both in the UK and abroad. Yes they are owed money but only in the context of the ebb and flow of supplying stock and we’re really pleased to have preserved the goodwill in these relationships.
Some creditors – yes. The only individuals ‘damaged’ by this are the directors – Me (Dan) and the outgoing investor. We’ve both taken a significant financial hit but for different reasons. Me because I want to stay, the investor because they wanted to go.
A couple of big operators (E.g. TNT and Paypal) have also lost out. Though we are also continuing to use them so they can’t be too upset about it either. Entities of that size seem to be used to this kind of thing.
Some customers remain out of pocket but we’re now in a position to fix that – detail below.
To be frank, the only creditor who really took a major hit was the outgoing investor. We worked together for a long time and it doesn’t make me happy to know they’ve basically written off a huge chunk of cash – but I didn’t choose this course of action. The administrators discovered that running an international bike-manufacturing operation and an e-commerce business isn’t quite as straightforward as some people seem to think it is! Over the course of the last couple of months we got to a point where they just understood the reality and actual value of what was here. The outcome is a sensible one in the circumstances and one that is by far the best for the integrity of Stanton Bicycles.
I’m also a pretty big creditor! But I’d rather have my company, in my hands, than press the panic button and try and recover previous loans to the business which were all part of trying to do the right thing – like the move to UK manufacturing for example. I’m here for the long-term and prepared to do the hard work that means Stanton Bicycles stands for something positive and supports not only me but others too.
What should anyone waiting for a bike or frame do?
I’d like to make it really clear that we will do everything possible to make sure no-one loses out and sincere apologies to those out there who’ve suffered the stress of trying to get an email or phone call answered by the administrator’s people when they were here. The administration process was not about having a fire sale and stiffing people – as is now evidenced by the outcome. There are two types of customer:
- Those who purchased from Stanton Bikes Ltd, just before we went into administration.
- Those who purchased from the company while it was run by the administrators.
We’re talking about a reassuringly small number of people but that doesn’t lessen the importance to us of sorting it out. Those in the first group can deal directly with Dan, contact us at Stanton if you don’t hear from us first (sorry, rather a lot going on!). Our plan with these unlucky few is to get them the product they want as soon as we are able. Our stock is still there so, depending on how complex the order was, we’re very confident we can come to a satisfactory arrangement with each person.
If you ordered from the administrator, PKF Smith Cooper, then you can claim a full refund from them. We will then very happily sell you a new frame at that price with all the lifetime warranty and support you’d expect.
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