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Titus closes their doors as financer takes control

By:
Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com
Published:
November 11, 2010, 0:13 GMT,
Updated:
November 11, 2010, 0:17 GMT
Edition:
MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, November 11, 2010
The El Guapo is a new 160mm platform from Titus,

The El Guapo is a new 160mm platform from Titus,

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Mountain bike manufacturer faces uncertain future

Titus Cycles has stopped trading. The company's major lender Factors Southwest operating as FSW took over on Tuesday 11 November according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry news (BRAIN) the U.S. industry trade publication.

Titus Cycles was 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' 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.

BRAIN reported that FSW is looking for a buyer to take the company whole and doesn’t currently have plans to start selling assets.

“We were trying to get some investment in [last week] and when we couldn’t get the investment closed the bank foreclosed,” said Mike Gaumond, Titus’ former, told Cyclingnews.

Gaumond resigned last week once the brand’s last effort at investment fell through.

“We had run out of money,” he said. “And they laid everyone off at that point anyway.”

Gaumond confirmed that there is currently inventory at Titus’ now closed headquarters.

“Factors Southwest took the company over and I have not spoken with them about whether they’ll try to sell that [inventory] off or if they’ll [keep it and] try to sell the company or how they’re going to move forward with that,” he said.

The future also remains uncertain for current Titus owners in regards to warranty issues and replacement parts.

“We were working through a plan, assuming we came out whole, in terms of what would happen with warranty,” said Gaumond. “We don’t have a plan in place now, because frankly, we have no control over it now that the bank has taken over.

“I think their hope is to sell the company to someone who would buy the assets and keep it in operation and continue to support the customers, but I don’t know that,” he said.

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