It’s official: Norton Motorcycles has gone into administration in the UK. Accounting firm BDO has been appointed administrator of the manufacturer—in addition to two other of Stuart Garner’s Leicestershire-based businesses. The company’s tax troubles announced earlier in January 2020 are apparently the final straw in this chapter of Norton’s history.
According to UK firm Irwin Insolvency, what the UK refers to as administration is similar to what we in the US know as chapter 11 bankruptcy. An administrator reorganizes and administers the affairs of the business in question, and focuses on paying off existing debts to avoid liquidation and completely dissolving the business.
“As joint administrators, we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that customers, staff and suppliers are supported through the administration process,” BDO business restructuring partner Lee Causer told Leicestershire Live.
“Our job is to determine and execute the most appropriate strategy as swiftly as possible to protect creditors’ interests, bearing in mind the need to minimize distress for all parties. We are currently assessing the position of each of the companies in order to conclude upon the options available to them and the most appropriate way forward.”
According to The Telegraph, last year, Norton had sales of £6.7m (or US $8,719,655), but only made £33,701 (or US $43,860) in pre-tax profits. The company currently has 100 staff, and it is uncertain what will happen to those workers with this announcement.
The other two Garner-owned companies in question are Priest House Hotel and Donington Hall Estates. The Hotel staff was notified earlier in the day about the administration, and Legacy Hotel and Resorts has been called in to manage the hotel until that business finds a buyer. Since all three businesses are now currently looking for buyers, now would be a great time to scoop up Norton Motorcycles, that hotel, or that banquet and events hall if you’re looking to buy. Not interested? We can’t say we blame you.
Australian importer James Mutton of Brisbane Motorcycles told Motorbike Writer that all Australia and New Zealand customers who placed deposits for new Norton motorcycles will receive full refunds. No matter where you’re located, if you currently have a deposit for a Norton bike with a local dealer, you’ll need to contact them directly to find out what happens next.
It’s unclear what Norton’s administration might mean for the Norton Superlight bikes that Peter Hickman was planning to race for Smiths Racing Team at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. As and when we know more, we’ll keep you updated.