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Van Dessel looking for partnership

Published September 18, 2012

MENDHAM, N.J.  (BRAIN) — The owner of Van Dessel, a small bike brand best known on the East Coast for it cyclocross bikes, is looking for an investing partner or a buyer.

The company's sales have grown 25 to 30 percent a year for the last four years, owner Edwin Bull said, but finds itself in a cash-flow bind, he said.

"Cash flow has become more and more difficult to manage as inventory needs increase," said Bull. "To keep up with increasing cash flow needs, since 2009 I've had to cut down on the number of models we can carry by reducing the number of models in inventory from seven to four.  Even with reducing the number of models year after year, sales volume has consistently increased."

Bull called it an "awkward contradiction" as he must pay full cost upfront to buy inventory from overseas, yet he needs that inventory to generate revenue.

Bull said he realized he had brought the brand as far as he could on his own.

"I've spent most of my time and energy just trying to get from production run to production run," Bull said. "Instead of being able to fully focus on growth, product development, brand building, and become more meaningful and significant to our dealers, I've spent the vast majority of my energy scrambling and begging for money and loans in order to get shipments released from our suppliers and in our warehouse on time to fulfill orders."

Van Dessel is entering its strongest season of the year: the cyclocross season. 

Bull's Belgian roots have influences Ven Dessel's product designs and the company sponsors several athletes who have had several podium finishes already this season.

Bull said his entire fall cyclocross inventory has been held up in the Port of New York while he has been securing funds to get the inventory released. He expects to ship fall orders this week.

Topics associated with this article: Mergers/Acquisitions

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