Norton Motorcycles forced into administration

Norton Motorcycles has entered administration, bringing a potential final chaptrer to one of Britain's oldest and most iconic nameplates

Norton Superlight SS

British manufacturer Norton Motorcycles is confirmed to have entered administration, marking the potentially the final chapter for the historic firm.

The company, which can trace its origins back 122 years, has gone through numerous owners over the decades with its most recent acquisition coming in 2015 by entrepreneur Stuart Garner, who vowed to return the marque to its former glories.

However, after it emerged Norton was facing a wind-up order from the HMRC over unpaid taxes totalling around £300,000, the future of the brand appeared precarious.

With Garner and Norton’s channels going quiet over the last couple of weeks, the worst fears have been confirmed with the news that BDO, an accounting group, have been appointed at administrator to Norton Motorcycle Holdings, plus two other businesses owned by Garner Donington Hall Estates and Priest House Hotel.

“Our job is to determine and execute the most appropriate strategy as swiftly as possible to protect creditors’ interests, bearing in mind the need to minimise distress for all parties,” Lee Causer, a partner at BDO, told the Guardian

“We are currently assessing the position of each of the companies in order to conclude upon the options available to them and the most appropriate way forward.”

Trouble has been brewing at Norton for some time after last published set of accounts for the year-end March 31 2018 revealed pre-tax profits of just £33,701 and liabilities to the tune of £3,384,200, raising concerns that “[Norton is] dependent on the future financial support of its bankers and its creditors … a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Despite this, Norton has forged on with new editions of its model range, including the Norton Superlight SS launched at Motorcycle Live as recently as November, while it had planned to retain a hand in the Isle of Man TT Superlight class this year with Smiths Racing and Peter Hickman.

However, it emerged earlier this month that John McGuinness – who competed on the TT with Norton in 2019 – had been having trouble contacting Garner over unpaid salary.

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