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OFFICIAL: Norton Motorcycles bought by Indian firm TVS

Indian firm TVS Motors confirms it has completed the purchase of Norton Motorcycles for £16 million, wants to return it to former glories

John McGuinness - Norton

The Norton Motorcycles brand has been saved after Indian firm TVS Motor confirmed it had purchased the beleaguered British manufacturer for £16 million with plans to return it to ‘full glory’ on the international landscape.

The historic Norton marque slid into administration in February amid claims of unpaid tax bills and discrepancies over misuse of pension funds. 

As the weeks progressed it became increasingly clear the mire Norton’s owner Stuart Garner and associated partners had seemingly driven the manufacturer into with a number of investigations now pending.

However, the brand itself looks to have been saved from complete collapse after TVS Motor – one of a handful of parties through to be interested in Norton – stepping in with a £16 million deal, believed to be a cash one, to bring it under Indian ownership.

In a short statement, TVS Motor’s joint managing director Sudarshal Venu said the intention is to restore Norton’s damaged reputation and to return it to global notoriety. He also says it would work closely with Norton employees and customers, though there is no word on whether TVS would retain a British manufacturing presence.

“This is a momentous time for us. Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world, and presents us with an immense opportunity to scale globally.

"We will extend our full support for Norton to regain its full glory in the international motorcycle landscape."

TVS, best known for its Apache RR model, is the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in India and has a development partnership with BMW.

Norton, founded in Birmingham in 1902, became one of the most British motorcycle marques and notched up significant wins at the Isle of Man TT. It was purchased by Garner in 2008 but he has been accused from a number of corners for pumping raised pensions funds into the operation and amassing huge debts prior to its collapse.

His case has been referred to the pensions ombudsmen and a government enquiry will be launched to determine how he was able to secure grants for a company that was failing.

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