LeMond Bicycles LLC recently raised a bit over $2 million in a private placement investment, possibly bringing the company closer to launching a bike line using technology developed by Greg LeMond’s other business, LeMond Carbon. The three-time Tour de France champion founded both companies in 2016.
A Securities and Exchange Commission filing made Wednesday shows that on July 1 the bicycle company sold securities worth $2,029,178 out of a total offering of $4,608,000. The SEC Form D filing is sometimes filed on the sale of securities to a small number of select investors. The form contains minimal information about the investment besides the offering amount and names of executive officers, board members and promoters of the company issuing the securities.
LeMond has been in and out of the bike market since at least 1986, the year he won his first Tour. He licensed his name to Trek Bicycle for use on bikes for 13 years starting in 1995. In 2008 Trek ended the agreement, with Trek president John Burke saying that LeMond “has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole.” LeMond sued for breach of contract and the suit was settled in 2010, with Trek agreeing to pay $200,000 to 1in6.org, a charity supported by LeMond.
At the 2013 Interbike show, LeMond launched a limited edition of 300 LeMond-branded frames and bikes made by Time in France. LeMond’s company also distributed Time frames and pedals in the U.S. for a time. In 2014 LeMond announced he was selling a US-made steel frame, called the Washoe, through a consumer-direct website.
In 2016 he launched a new Tennessee-based company, LeMond Composites, which had rights to new technology developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for low-cost, high volume carbon fiber manufacturing. At the time, Greg LeMond told BRAIN that he learned of the technology while researching options for a new bike line. He said the technology would be ideal for bike frames but that the new company would first focus on sales to other industries, including the auto, aviation, and wind power industries.
The following year, LeMond Composites licensed carbon manufacturing technology from Deakin University in Australia in a 20-year deal reportedly worth $44 million. Late last year, LeMond and Deakin announced that the technology had been shown by an independent organization to enable carbon production at less cost and energy use than other methods. At the time, LeMond said it was operating a pilot carbon fiber manufacturing line at Deakin University’s facility in Australia and was raising capital for a full-scale industrial carbon fiber production line it hoped to launch in 2021.
LeMond Companies LLC is the parent of LeMond Bicycles and LeMond Composites — which has recently been rebranded as LeMond Carbon. Since its foundation in 2016 LeMond Companies has raised about $18.6 million of seed capital from individual and institutional investors, including Deakin University, according to a company statement last year.
In the filing made Wednesday the bike company declined to list its revenues or net asset value.
According to the SEC filing, the bike and carbon subsidiaries share leadership. Dean Hendrickson, the CEO of LeMond Composites, is listed as a board member and executive officer of the bicycle company. Andrew Highfield, the CFO of the composites company, is also an executive officer of the bike company. And Geoffrey LeMond, Greg’s son, is a board member at the bike company and chief strategy officer and creative director of the composites company. Greg LeMond is listed as an executive officer, director and promoter of the bike company. He is the founder and executive chairman of LeMond Carbon.
An Oak Ridge news site reported Wednesday that LeMond Carbon is selling its facility there and plans to lease a new plant in West Knoxville, Tennessee, which is about 20 miles east of Oak Ridge. The article in The Oak Ridger quoted CEO Dean Hendrickson saying the company has 12 employees who split work between the carbon company and the bicycle company. He told the paper he expected the bike company to remain in West Knoxville but said he hoped to move the carbon business back to Oak Ridge following further investment.
A consumer website, road.cc, found “shadowy” images of upcoming bikes on the LeMond Bicycles website earlier this year and speculated that a bike line would be launched soon. Road.cc said the site promised that “LeMond bikes will offer the latest technology, connectivity and innovation in the industry at the highest levels of quality.” Those words and the images are now gone and the site, LeMond.cc, consists of a landing page that is gathering emails from potential customers.