BALA CYNWYD, Pa. — An investment company has acquired designer bicycle tire maker Sweetskinz Holdings Inc., taking the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Jana Partners L.L.C.´s San Francisco-based fund, Jana Master Fund, and its affiliate Jana Offshore Partners assumed full ownership of Sweetskinz by acquiring $6.3 million in debt, financing $1.6 million during the company´s reorganization bid and funding $1.9 million in equity, according to David Anderson, the bike tire maker´s chief financial officer.
Anderson said the Bala Cynwyd-based manufacturer will continue its focus on bike tire designs that include colorful snakeskin, flames, camouflage and stroboscopic patterns that are reflective at night. The tires were introduced into the U.S. market last October.
The company was founded in 1999 and had spent years and millions of dollars developing its exobelt membrane technology-an ultra-light, highly durable, screen-printed rubberized membrane that is applied to a green tire before vulcanization in a mold. The process uses proprietary inks and reflective beads imbedded in the membrane.
Last year the company had planned to publicly trade its stock but ended up filing for bankruptcy protection in March.
Anderson said Jana can provide Sweetskinz with funds or the ability to raise funds to continue its goal of pursuing additional applications and geographic markets. The company said its technology can be used for all types of pneumatic tires, including auto, truck, ATV and golf cart tires.
Sweetskinz also may pursue non-tire applications, Anderson said, including shoe soles, golf club grips, supermarket conveyor belts and rubber hoses for industrial and consumer use.
Anderson said he will remain in his post at Sweetskinz along with its CEO Andrew Boyland.