The news comes just a few weeks after the Orange Factory Racing team was closed due to high costs.
Orange Bikes has appointed an administrator, in an effort to “restructure the business” and stave off job losses. In legal parlance it means Orange is protected from creditors and can now negotiate the terms of its debt.
It follows news last year that Orange Factory Racing would not be on the race circuit in 2024.
Orange said in a statement: “In response to current speculation regarding the position of Orange Bikes and the recently filed Notice of Intention to appoint Administrators: Orange Bikes and its associated companies are currently working with Specialist Business Rescue Advisory firm J9 Advisory, with a view to restructuring the businesses in order to provide a viable platform to service our customers in the best way possible, safeguarding jobs and ensuring the continuation and strength of the Orange Bikes business moving forwards. Further details will be released as soon as possible.”
The Halifax-based brand has been operating since the 1980s, producing some of the best mountain bikes we’ve ever tested, like the Orange Five and Orange Alpine. It’s also become something of a cult-favourites for their recognisable silhouettes and single-pivot, high-performance bikes.
The news comes a short while after the brand announced that the Orange Factory Race Team would not continue in 2024.
Orange Factory Racing
“Whilst we’re celebrating the successes of the team, we’re also drawing a line under this particular chapter of Orange’s history,” Orange said in a statement last year.
“Orange Factory Racing won’t return for 2024. With so much uncertainty in the bike industry, challenges around the future of the Enduro World Cup Series and the sheer cost of running a competitive Factory-level team, we’re pressing pause.
“We’ll return when the time is right. But for now, we’re ending on a high and will take a break to focus on our main goal of creating world-class bikes. All that said, our passion for racing isn’t going anywhere and neither is Orange Bikes. We’ll continue to support a number of talented athletes around the World – look out for more news on that in the new year.”
With this statement, the company has been transparent about its apparent financial woes. While it’s unfortunate, it seems like the entire bike industry in the UK is feeling the effects of spiralling costs and further uncertainty – particularly as big names like Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles went into administration last year.
What does this mean for Orange customers?
The fact that Orange is calling in the administrators doesn’t necessarily signal the end of the company. Instead, the company directors might be trying to prevent liquidation. The appointment of administrators quite simply means that creditors cannot take legal action, and instead the company can work to reshuffle its debts.
Whilst we don’t know the ins and outs of the situation with Orange, the fact that the racing team has closed could signify that money is tight – and that’s not something new in the bike industry at the moment. Currently, Orange offers 33 different bikes, which are only sold through retail partners. It’s important to note that trading won’t necessarily cease whilst administrators are appointed – so you can still expect to be able to buy Orange bikes while the process is ongoing. And, as far as we know, spare parts should still be readily available from places like Ebay and third-party sites and retailers.
So what does this mean for the future of the company? Could we see a potential buyout of sorts from staff or even…Guy Martin? It looks like it could be the only future for the brand unless there’s a big injection of cash from elsewhere.
Orange was launched in 1988 by Steve Wade and Lester Noble. In 2015, they sold the company to Ashley Ball, who owned the metalwork company that supplied Orange.