Following its insolvency filing in December, industry reports suggest that Hein Gericke Deutschland GmbH has been acquired by the Barcelona headquartered group of Chinese investors that is headed by Arthur Liao, the owner of Chinese helmet manufacturer LS2.
According to German dealer magazine Bike and Business editor Stephan Maderner, the takeover would result in the largest possible number of Hein Gericke shops and employees being retained.
Some 54 of Hein Gericke’s 85 shops in continental Europe are in Germany, with other shops in The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Austria. However, the deal does not include the British Hein Gericke company, with some 12 of the 16 UK stores reportedly being bought by British apparel retailer J&S Accessories.
Arthur Liao founded LS2 Helmets in 1990 and created a head office in Barcelona in 2007. Stephan Maderner says that the takeover of the Hein Gericke retail network would help fuel the growth ambitions of LS2, and that the takeover will become effective with the formal insolvency declaration that is expected any time now.
At one point in time, between the Hein Gericke and FirstGear brands for the aftermarket, and the private label for OEM apparel such as Arctic Cat, Polaris, Honda and Harley’s ubiquitous black leather jackets, Intersport Fashions West (IFW) dominated the leather apparel market with somewhere north of 80% marketshare in the U.S.