Titus close their doors
By Matt Pacocha, US editor in Boulder, CO | Wednesday, November 10, 2010 6.30pm
Titus' Racer X 29er What Mountain Bike
Titus Cycles have stopped trading. The company's major lenders, Factors Southwest operating as FSW, took over Tuesday, 9 November.
Titus were founded by Chris Cocalis in 1991. He remained at the head of the company until selling his final stakes in 2006 to Vyatek Sports. Since Cocalis's departure, Titus had trouble finding stable footing.
In 2008, Vyatek sold the brand to GAI Cycles of Phoenix. From there it went through two CEOs before the FSW foreclosure this week.
“We were trying to get some investment in [last week] and when we couldn’t get the investment closed, the bank foreclosed,” Mike Gaumond, Titus’s former CEO, told BikeRadar regarding the brand's final days. Gaumond resigned last week after the brand’s last effort at investment fell through. “We'd run out of money,” he said. “And they laid everyone off at that point anyway.”
Gaumond confirmed that there is currently inventory at Titus’s now closed headquarters.
The lender plans to auction the brand and their assets whole, if such prospect can be achieved in a timely manner.
"Factors Southwest is currently taking sealed bids until November 19," said Juliet Straker, a spokesperson for Factors Southwest told BikeRadar. " At that time they will notify all interested parties of the highest bidder and then, if anyone would like to, they can increase their bid. A final decision will be made by November 23rd. If nothing comes together by November 23, only then would they [Titus] go to a public auction."
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Straker said that there are currently multiple parties interested in the brand and involved in the initial bidding process.
"Things are in process right now," said Straker. "The intent is to get it done as quickly as possible and as intact as possible."
Factors Southwest has consulted Pat Hus — who was Titus' CEO before Gaumond took over — on an 'as needed basis' because of his knowledge and understanding of the industry. Hus is said to have offered his best opinions for the company to survive, due to the bank's unfamiliarity of the industry.
"The expectation is that the new owners of the company will honor warranty issues and handle the need for parts," said Straker.
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