In 2012 the Malenotti family acquired the brand of Matchless and its assets, and after investing £15 million into launching a fashion range, Matchless London Clothing, worn by the likes of Jonny Depp and Kate Moss and the provider of a “Craig Blouson”, an ultra-soft suede jacket to Daniel Craig for the James Bond film Spectre, the firm are putting the iconic Matchless motorcycle back on Britain’s roads.
The Matchless Model X concept bike was unveiled back in 2014 in Milan, and the following year the Malenotti family acquired all the relevant IP and Trademarks from the Original Matchless Motorcycle Company Ltd. with an agreement in place for “cohesive Product development, Placement, Pricepoints & Brand Messaging”, and Franco Malenotti to join the OMMC board, acting as a conduit between the two firms.
Michele Malenotti, the Creative Director of Matchless London Clothing who previously helped transform the fortunes of Belstaff (which the Malenotti family now owns) acts as Managing Director; the Matchless team includes Mike Earle of Onyx F1 Grand Prix, (held positions at BMW and Honda), Global Brand Director Julia Mitchell, (Bentley-Brietling, Bugatti and Lamborghini), David Roberts, Chairman (Chrysler, Aston Martin), Andrew McKenzie, CFO (Jaeger, Aquascutum), and Alexander Sinclair, CEO (Norton, Triumph); Neville Billson is Project Director.
The Model X will come in two versions; the Matrix X Reloaded which will retail at £80,000 and the Matchless TT, at £40,000. Both come with added specifications upon request and at an extra price. Sales will begin in 2017 when the company expect to sell 177 cycles with the figure as high as 250 by 2020; EBITDA is estimated to be £4.5m by this stage.
The bond is for up to £5m with a minimum investment of £10,000, and a 5-year initial fixed term. Non-voting B shares will be issued priced at £1 per share with a value at issue of £0.01. There are no admin fees even if the bond is undersubscribed. The bond is secured as a first charge against the company’s assets which is its 30-year liscensing agreement.
The bike will be manufactured entirely in the UK at a purpose built factory unit within the Onyx Race Engineering Complex in Littlehampton, Sussex, just 14 miles from the world-famous track at Goodwood, where the bikes will be tested.
The return on the bonds is subject to income tax, and if you are a higher rate taxpayer you may be asked to pay the higher rate; as the shares are not tradeable on the open market they are likely to be illiquid, but sales can be made via the equity platform Karadoo although no price can be guaranteed. The bond will be repaid in full plus interest by 2021.
The project has already attracted £1.4m from existing shareholders which has been spent on building the prototype and acquiring the IP.
The Matchless mini-bond isn’t covered by Financial Services Compensation Scheme but is secured against the assets of the firm.
The bike itself, largely designed by Franco Malenotti is a 1.9 litre V Twin built, the firm says, in the spirit of original founder Henry Collier’s own bikes. The bikes are visually stunning and come with two different sets of instruments to allow the rider to adopt different seating positions.
As the clothing line continues to thrive and supply its gear to Hollywood blockbusters like Age of Ultron, Matchless the bike, this time an offshoot of a clothing brand rather than vice versa, could very possibly find the sweet spot in a market where design, heritage and taking a risk or two are highly prized commodities. As Thierry henry might put it, it’s got the Va-Va-Vroom!
For further information about the bond issue or to subscribe you can visit the Karadoo website