Exclusive Update From Stanton Bicycles: The Recovery Begins

by 94

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.

Different company name…same headbadge?

“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.

Stanton Switch9er Hannah
No more UK made bikes like this one for now!

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:

  1. Those who purchased from Stanton Bikes Ltd, just before we went into administration.
  2. 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.

While you’re here…

https://singletrackworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interview-dan-stanton-build-buy-bikes/
https://singletrackworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/can-working-on-your-bike-void-the-warranty/
https://singletrackworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/tracking-the-health-of-the-bike-industry-in-2023/

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Home Forums Exclusive Update From Stanton Bicycles: The Recovery Begins

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 94 total)
  • Exclusive Update From Stanton Bicycles: The Recovery Begins
  • kayak23
    Full Member

    Great news 😊

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Hopefully that will shut all the ‘ZOMG, he’s screwed eVeRyOnE over11!!!1one!’ Crowd up.

    Not that it will, but ever hopeful.

    idenry
    Free Member

    David 1 – Goliath 0.

    Good on yer folks.

    jamj1974
    Full Member

    Brilliant work by Dan and Stanton Bicycles.  Well done!

    comet
    Full Member

    There is some misleading information here, I am a type 2 customer who ordered some spares. I received an email today from the administrators PKF Smith Cooper, informing me that since they were unable to fulfil my order and have now sold Stanton Bikes Ltd. to Stanton Bicycles Limited, I should contact my bank to claim a refund.

    As it happens, I did receive the spares after some weeks, so don’t need to claim a refund from any party.

    mrmoofo
    Full Member

    Him, great news for Dan

    Were the old company’s creditors were all paid in full.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    Thanks Hannah for getting some facts published.

    I’m hoping lots more people get the chance to own Stanton frames and support the great people that work with Dan.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I was just flicking through Saturdays Times financial section and was surprised to see it had made the national papers…

    slackboy
    Full Member

    Several thousand pounds! For a bicycle? Imagine that :-)

    2
    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’m hoping lots more people get the chance to own Stanton

    Give it another couple of years and put in a bid?

    reeksy
    Full Member

    Several thousand pounds! For a bicycle? Imagine that 🙂

    “I’ve heard they’ve fitted electric motors to bicycles now, Marjorie, whatever next?”

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    Debts of £2.15 million is perhaps more worrying? And then to set up again?

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    And, how do you protect a brand and goodwill owing that amount of money? I’m out.

    1
    reeksy
    Full Member

    Yes, if someone running an SME makes a mistake they should probably just be made to clean toilets or euthanised.

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    What’s an SME?

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    What is an SME in the UK?

    The UK government definition of SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) encompasses micro (less than 10 employees and an annual turnover under €2 million), small (less than 50 employees and an annual turnover under €10 million) and medium-sized (less than 250 employees and an annual turnover under €50 million) businesses.

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    Thank you for the info!  Will there be other SME’S who are still owed money and now struggling?

    reeksy
    Full Member

    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    From another thread on here:

    </div>

    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    Since some have asked and I wondered too … summary of the debts from here

    (where named…I am not an insolvency practitioner, and there seem to be two similar but not identical lists)

    Employee hol pay : £800.
    HMRC: £92K
    Trade: £370K
    Dan Stanton: £120K
    Atkinsons (the recent investor/s presumably): £1.05M
    10 Customers: £33K
    Paypal: £73K
    You Lend (who?): £40K
    Redundancy/pay arrears: £60K.
    TNT: 43K

    Trade seems to be a Taiwanese and a Chinese supplier (bulk of it) plus various UK distros.

    </div>

    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    But let’s face it. The last few years must have been an incredibly difficult time to be running a business like this.

    </div>

    reeksy
    Full Member

    And i’m guessing Stanton might be a micro business under that definition above … not bad to have a “global presence” according to the Times.

    4
    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Thank you for the info!  Will there be other SME’S who are still owed money and now struggling?

    According to some accounts on Pinkbike, the owners of a couple of businesses may now be struggling to to pay bills or put food on the table. (PayPal and TNT)

    Hope they pull through.

    1
    kayla1
    Free Member

    But let’s face it. The last few years must have been an incredibly difficult time to be running a business like this.

    It’s been an absolute shitshow from the point we had to start putting customs labels on stuff going to the EU. I now have A Job and have scaled what we do (teeny, tiny business, working from home but it paid the bills and put food on the table) right back.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    The implication I got from the accounts was the Atkinsons lost the bulk of their investment.

    TNT and Paypal lost their debts as a result of the insolvency.

    Holiday pay, wages etc automatically get added to the pile during administration because the company ‘owes’ you that holiday pay as you accrue it even if you have no intention of taking it until December, and wages are paid by the administrators / owed by the new company.

    The suppliers debts are for orders they’ve placed, i.e. they owe the framebuilder in Tiawan £300k for upcoming batches they’ve committed to, presumably they’ve every intention of still buying those frames as “Stanton Bicycles”.

    Basically looked to me like the only people who lost out significantly were TNT and Paypal, the investor made their own decision to pull the plug so hard to feel like they’ve been hard done by.   .n.b. reading the accounts and statements it looks like there were other issues with cashflow  caused by brexit/ukraine/inflation/whatever than just the investor pulling the plug. So the investor didn’t simply walk away for no reason, they made the decision not to put up any more money to cover the shortfall in cashflow.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I’m amazed TNT let it get so far – they were like rabid dogs in accounts when we used to deal with them. Not paid – then nothing gets shipped.

    2
    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Basically looked to me like the only people who lost out significantly were TNT and Paypal, the investor made their own decision to pull the plug so hard to feel like they’ve been hard done by.

    posted pretty much the same thing on Pinkbike. Got this response.

    The same guy with half a dozen or so accounts is currently downvoting me to oblivion

    TheGingerOne
    Full Member

    Surely the likes of PayPal and TNT expect to right off an amount of debt they are owed every year and plan for it, so whilst not ideal, it is a factor in running a business that they plan for.

    1
    Mark
    Full Member

    Those losses will get accounted for in the giant corp accounts they have and will be put to good use offsetting their tax liabilities. It’s still a loss to those companies but unless those companies are running out of actual cash it’s going to affect no one other than shareholders realistically. If these losses become an increasing pattern for these companies they may pass on the costs by increasing prices, which could affect lots of people in minor ways but most large corps will plan for a percentage of these losses in their business plans and forecasts so it will MOST LIKELY have zero affect on anyone at all.

    2
    tomhoward
    Full Member

    BuT tHeY hAvE kIdZ 2 fEeD!!

    #prayforpaypal

    chakaping
    Full Member

    How do you run up a debt with PP anyway?

    I thought they’d just pay a slice of each transaction the moment it was made, like us punters?

    Or do they offer other services for SMEs?

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Ah, it’s ok to default payments to large companies. Cool. Does someone have a handy diagram/explanation of where the dividing line is?

    More importantly, if Stanton couldn’t pay them previously does that means it’s going to be a click-and-collect, cash-only business now?

    Mark
    Full Member

    They lend to businesses. We’ve used their credit facilities in the past. It’s very good. You borrow an amount and repay it via an increased percentage taken from all future transactions.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    More importantly, if Stanton couldn’t pay them previously does that means it’s going to be a click-and-collect, cash-only business now?

    Dan said in the interview that both companies are happy to deal with the new one.

    Also, every company that offers credit, be that loans or payment terms will credit check then make a decision based on the level of risk involved in offering those things to customers. They decided it was an acceptable level of risk and priced accordingly to still make money. I’d wager they’ve both still made money over the course of the relationship, even with the hit they are taking now.

    Mark
    Full Member

    Ah, it’s ok to default payments to large companies. Cool. Does someone have a handy diagram/explanation of where the dividing line is?

    Of course it’s not ok. But it happens and it is typically planned for.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Ah, it’s ok to default payments to large companies. Cool. Does someone have a handy diagram/explanation of where the dividing line is?

    Have you ever run a business?

    Big companies factor bad debt in – it’s part of the business. And many businesses are happy to trade with new entities. Google for Pre-Pack Businesses.

    Even me running a small one-man band business knows there will always be an element of bad debt. Even good customers can go bad.

    kelron
    Free Member

    I know it’s easy to be cynical but he seems to be giving a very clear and honest explanation of who is losing out and why.

    chakaping
    Full Member

    They lend to businesses. We’ve used their credit facilities in the past. It’s very good. You borrow an amount and repay it via an increased percentage taken from all future transactions.

    Thanks, makes sense now :)

    chevychase
    Free Member

    There’s still nearly £200k of liabilities to staff and customers that have been written off.

    I don’t know about you – but if my bike order was written off, and the same frame was sold to someone else after being bought by the new entity, I’d be pretty miffed.

    And if my pension contributions went down the pan.  That’s not great.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Are there? The article states that customers will be sorted, and staff salaries are normally top of the list to be paid first?

    nuke
    Full Member

    I know it’s easy to be cynical but he seems to be giving a very clear and honest explanation of who is losing out and why.

    Think he needs to as its clear from this and other threads that the goodwill towards Stanton has taken a hit over this (although as I read it, its the investor pulling out that was the trigger that has led to where they are now) and thats not what you need when rebuilding the business and frankly I do wonder if they can come back from that…going to be a hard slog rebuilding reputation. Regardless of opinion of this collapse/rebirth, if I was in the market for a new bike/frame, I think Id want to be confident they were likely to be around for the foreseeable future and Im not sure at this point Id have that confidence

    2
    Del
    Full Member

    The guy is hardly hiding, is he? If he thought this episode was going to tarnish his name to the extent some might think he’d just have called the new company something else.

    3
    stingmered
    Full Member

    Some people on here are absolutely clueless as demonstrated by the naivety and/or ignorant commentary. It’s clear that they know nothing of the reality of running a business.  Nothing wrong with that of course, but why feel the need to comment on something you know nowt about.?!  Dan S has been honest and upfront about the what has happened to Stanton, and importantly what the the pathway forward is. As far as I see, he’s been dealt a rough hand and rather than folding like I’m sure 99% of us would have (me included) he’s toughed it out and is rebuilding in the most pragmatic way he can. Good on you fella.

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