HOT NEWS – April 25, 2005
April 25, 2005
Filed under News
LEMCO SALE COMPLETE
Ride Now Powersports Management Group has acquired Lemco Management Group, the nation’s largest motorcycle dealer training group. The sale closed on Monday, April 4, 2005. Terms were not disclosed.
In a related move, Sam Dantzler, president and CEO of Lemco, has reached an agreement in principle to purchase 25% of Lemco. The sale is expected to close in about 30 days. Terms were not disclosed.
Lemco has about 300 member/customers and Ride Now is its largest customer, spending about $100,000 annually for training with Lemco.
Ride Now, based in Chandler, Ariz., was launched with one store in 1989 as Arizona Motorsports. Today, it owns and operates 25 stores in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. The company is in a growth mode and expects to add five or six stores this year and generate revenues of more than $400 million, says Mark Tkach, Ride Now CEO.
FIVE ADDED TO V-TWIN GROUP
The American V-Twin Committee of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has appointed five additional members to serve on the committee. These new members are Lee Chapin, Mikuni American Corporation; Buzz Dyer, Cycle Shack; Gayle Greene, Paramount Custom Cycles; Jason Severtson, GE Consumer Finance, and Tom Seymour from Saddlemen.
They will join the current members Wil Garland, American IronHorse; Dave Koshollek, Dako Enterprises; Nick Messer, Big Dog Motorcycles; Grady Pfeiffer, GH Marketing; Len Simms, NADA, and Brett Smith from S&S Cycle.
The committee is chaired by Fred Fox of Parts Unlimited. Co-chair is Ted Sands of Performance Machine Inc.
The American V-Twin Committee was established to address the challenges and opportunities within the V-twin market for component and engine builders, custom kit manufacturers, and other companies that produce goods or services specific for this segment. Every meeting is open to all members of the MIC and all are encouraged to participate in these meetings.
BILL SEEKS TO REFORM WORKER’S COMP LAW
Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) has introduced Senate Bill 510 in the California Senate, a move to require the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau to establish separate worker’s compensation rates for employees of motorcycle, ATV, and off-road vehicle dealers.
Sen. Hollingsworth acted on SB 510 at the request of the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), a Santee, Calif.,-based trade association comprised of off-road related businesses united to promote common goals that support the prosperity and growth of the off-road industry.
ORBA says motorized recreational vehicle dealers take a
double hit in doling out compensation because of a rate structure known as “all inclusive” rates. Employers must pay the same worker’s compensation rates for their parts, apparel, cashier, and other similar employees that they pay on their mechanics.
Currently, California dealers have only two options when classifying employees: clerical and mechanic. Employers pay a higher worker’s compensation rate for mechanics due to the higher risk for injury for that job classification, so “all inclusive” rates cause motorcycle dealers to pay the highest rate for all their employees regardless of their job.
ORBA says one particular motorcycle dealer is paying around $15,000 per month for worker’s compensation premiums for its 75 employees. Everyone working in the parts department or rider apparel section falls under the mechanic class.
The Automotive sales industry has four classifications for their employees. “We want the same worker compensation rate structure as the major motor vehicle dealers,” says Roy Denner, president and CEO of ORBA. “This is a matter of simple fairness.”
EHLERT PUBLISHING MAKES STAFF CHANGES
Ehlert Publishing Group, Inc., Maple Grove, Minn., has made several staffing changes, effective on April 1, 2005, within its ATV/Off-Road Group.
Jerrod Kelley, editor of ATV Sport magazine since 2001, will become Editor-At-Large for the ATV/Off-Road Group. In addition to providing editorial contributions to both ATV Magazine and ATV Sport, Kelley will continue as co-host for the second season of ATV Sport TV which will air from July 26-October 22 on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).
“He will continue to play a significant editorial role in all
of our ATV media properties,” explained Ehlert Vice President and ATV Group Publisher, Steve Schiffman.
Chaz Rice, who was editor of ATV Magazine, will become editor of ATV Sport. He will also continue as one of the play-by-play voices of ATV Sport TV’s racing coverage, and will manage the content of www.atvsport.com.
Eric Skogman, who has been with Ehlert for seven years and previously served as editor of Snow Goer, Snowmobile Magazine, Snow Week and Watercraft World, will assume the editorial reins on ATV Magazine. Skogman will also manage the content on www.atvmagonline.com and will contribute to Ehlert’s Powersports Business.
Ehlert’s titles include: Snow Goer, Snow Week, Snowmobile Magazine, Ultimate Snowmobile Buyers Guide, ATV Magazine, ATV Sport, Rider, American Rider, Cruising Rider, Thunder Press, Camping Life, Trailer Boats, Bass & Walleye Boats, Watercraft World, Boating Industry and Ehlert’s Powersports Business. More information about all Ehlert media properties can be found on www.ehlertmedia.com.
VIPER COMPLETES MERGER, ACQUIRES ENGINE FIRM, SIGNS BUILDER
Minneapolis-based Viper Motorcycle Company recently completed a merger with Viper Powersports, Inc., a publicly traded Nevada company with no operations; acquired 100% of engine supplier Thor Performance, Inc.; and signed a deal to have Performance Assembly Solutions manufacture and assemble Viper brand motorcycles.
Viper Motorcycle Company, which recently dropped plans for a proposed initial public offering, announced the completion of the merger with Viper Powersports Inc. on April 15.
Viper Powersports issued 4,452,062 common shares and 783,000 preferred shares of stock to the shareholders of the Viper Motorcycle Company. Certain shareholders of Viper Powersports also are purchasing 400,000 shares of common stock at $2.50 per share, providing $1 million of additional working capital.
In a separate transaction, Viper Powersports announced that it has acquired 100% of the engine technology and other assets of Thor Performance, Inc. for 2,996,575 shares of its common stock.
Thor Performance, Jackson Center, Ohio, is a motorcycle engine design and development company. The engines were developed by Thor’s technical director, Al Melling of Melling Consultancy Design, Rochdale, England.
Finally, Performance Assembly Solutions (PAS), a subsidiary of Roush Industries, has agreed to manufacture and assemble motorcycles and motorcycle engines for the motorcycle brand.
Based in Livonia, Mich., PAS presently manages several power train module assembly programs for Ford, General Motors and joint venture partners.