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Dinli buys Cannondale secrets

October 20, 2003
Filed under Features

Dinli Metal Industrial Company, Ltd., a Taiwanese manufacturer of ATVs, has purchased the intellectual property of the motorsports division of the former Cannondale Corporation, and is now the sole owner of the property for use on a worldwide basis.
The financial details of the deal between Dinli and Moto Assets Acquisition Corp. were not disclosed. Moto Assets Acquisition Corp. was formed by the private equity investment firm Pegasus Partners II, LP to acquire the assets of Cannondale Corporation’s motorsports division earlier this year.
At that time, Pegasus also formed the Cannondale Bicycle Corporation to purchase the assets of Cannondale Corporation’s bicycle division. David Uri, a partner at Pegasus and the president of Moto Asset Acquisition Corp., said that the sale to Dinli was consistent with Pegasus’ stated goal of divesting itself of the motorsports assets.
The sale to Dinli does not include any use or rights to the Cannondale name or trademark, but does allow use of former model names.
Justin Hall is vice president of Dinli LP, the Dallas-based importer and distributor of product from Dinli Metal. Hall told Powersports Business the intellectual property will be used in two ways:

  • To reproduce Cannondale’s full-sized ATVs with Dinli badging, and
  • To incorporate some of what Cannondale had – “fuel injection and some other hot things” – into youth ATVs.
  • “The idea is to not change the machine a whole lot,” Hall said. “We will change some things, not necessarily to make a cheaper version, but to use a few different parts manufacturers and incorporate computer technology from Taiwan.”
    Although he stressed that all pricing is still “up in the air,” Hall said prices may be decreased 25% to 30% from what the Cannondale machines were sold for. It could take six to eight months for production to begin, but Hall said a prototype of the first new machine will “for sure” be shown in Indianapolis in February 2004.
    Not Worried About ATK
    In September, Frank White of ATK Motorcycle, Centerville, Utah, said he had purchased nearly $13 million worth of hard parts from National Retail Liquidators (NRL), a firm Pegasus licensed to unload the product.
    Although White said he had yet make long-term plans, he told Powersports Business he hoped to eventually combine ATK technology with Cannondale technology to create some new products, and said ATK engineers already are working with former Cannondale R&D engineers.
    “Reproducing the products is where there is a fine line,” Hall says in response to White’s stated plan. “There are some things ATK can’t make, but there are a lot of products that came from suppliers and wouldn’t pose a problem for them.
    “There has been no legal action taken, and I’m really not worried about it,” he added. “I think they’re good people, and I have no problem with them as long as they stay in their guidelines. As far as them selling the product, I’m actually glad somebody has taken the initiative to keep Cannondale customers fulfilled.”
    Dinli LP currently offers three different styles of 50cc ATV, three 90cc units and a recently released 150cc four-stroke. New 90cc and 150cc quads also are expected to be introduced prior to the New Year.

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