Motorcycle manufacturer idles plant
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
MOUNDS — Motorcycle manufacturer US Highland Inc. has idled its headquarters and plant here while it looks for new financing after a plane crash last year killed three top executives.
“Negotiations are in final stages for the funding,” and manufacturing will resume after a deal is closed, company representative Ron Brewer said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement.
“Upon completing funding, US Highland will commence full operations in Tulsa (Mounds) again for the manufacturing and sale of their new product lines launching in 2011,” said Brewer, managing director for Southbridge Advisory Group.
Southbridge was hired to help lead US Highland as it looked for new management.
A plane crash in July near Tulsa International Airport killed US Highland President Mats Malmberg, Chief Operating Officer Chase Bales and Chief Financial Officer Damian Riddoch. Their small plane ran out of fuel on a return trip from Michigan, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The company started making motorcycles in Mounds early last year, and executives said they were planning to make cycles and engines for other companies.
A crew was brought in to lead the company after the plane crash, but interim COO J. Darin Long resigned in early December.
US Highland’s board of directors hired Southbridge Advisory Group last month to take over daily operations. Southbridge is also charged with helping the company acquire financing to continue operations.
US Highland had about 30 employees before the accident.
“To date, an outstanding motorcycle manufacturing management team has been procured and will come on board upon the completion of the funding desired by US Highland,” Brewer said.