So, the rumour is confirmed, Gary Matthews, CEO of the Derby Cycle Corporation says hes keen to buy back parts of Sturmey Archer. Er, with or without the debts?

Derby may buy 3-gear division

"We may be interested in purchasing some of its bicycle related divisions," said Derby Cycle CEO Gary Matthews during a telephone interview yesterday afternoon with John Weich of trade journal BikeEurope.

The BikeEurope article at uses some BikeBiz material but contains some new and interesting comments from Gary Matthews, who is currently touring Derbys European operations.

BikeEurope asked whether Derby was catching a lot of flak due to Sturmeys dire position, after all, many accuse Derby of hastily selling off the company to a gray investment firm.

Matthews said the flak was heavy but hed withstand it and he states that Lenark was the only viable offer that accepted Derbys conditions of keeping Sturmey in Nottingham.

"It took us six months to find Lenark. The company had a lot of money in the bank, claims Matthews. We visited their offices several times. They had no past record of insolvency or selling off businesses.

Matthews told the Mail on Sunday that Wragge and Co. did the due diligence on Lenark. At Mondays creditors meeting, Wragge and Co. denied this, saying it was done by Oasis Europe, Derbys buy-sell intermediary. Oasis subsequently denied this. John Weichs interview with Gary Matthews appears to suggest no formal due diligence was carried out at all. It looks as though Derby Cycle Corporation checked some accounts but, amazingly, found nothing that would block the £30 sale of the company.

The apparent lack of formal due diligence something Derby has yet to clear up definitively has shocked some of the former Sturmey Archer employees we have contacted who were led to believe Derby crawled all over Lenark.

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