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HomeNEWSExclusive – the return of Rudge

Exclusive – the return of Rudge

The iconic pre-war British motorcycle marque Rudge is to relaunch next year with multi-million-pound backing from an offshore investment fund.

A new company, Rudge-Whitworth Holdings Inc, has been registered in the US State of Delaware, a low-transparency corporate jurisdiction which makes it difficult to discern beneficial ownership. Charles “Chuck” Pugh has been named as Rudge-Whitworth provisional chief executive.

However, the identity of Rudge’s backer is no secret. Financial support for this revival is being provided by SinDex Partners, an extremely wealthy private equity operation registered in the Cayman Islands with reportedly more than £13bn under management.

In a statement announcing the company’s formation, Pugh said: “Although I come from an aerospace engineering and hi-tech military hardware marketing background, I’ve been a life-long bike enthusiast and we have recruited a team of cutting-edge motorcycle industry talent to get the business up and running. Their work is already well-advanced.

“Rudge may be a forgotten jewel in the British motorcycling heritage crown but its history of technological innovation makes the brand ripe for resurgence. Rudge pioneered CVT power transfer as far back as 1914 and then astounded the world with a radial four-valve cylinder head design in 1930, in both cases more than half a century before Honda revisited those concepts for two-wheeled applications. As a result, it established an admirable sporting pedigree. Seven victories in the Isle of Man TT and a total of 31 podium positions in that event are undeniable accolades.

“But while mindful of a glorious past, Rudge is now looking to the future. Our team has a common engine and chassis platform covering the European A and A2 licensing categories in a late stage of development. We intend to unveil an initial six-model range at EICMA Milan in the autumn of 2015.

“This is an entirely serious proposition. With the enormous financial muscle of SinDex behind us, we’ll be bigger than Triumph and achieve truly global reach within five years!”

In a further briefing issued from his US office on New York’s Wall Street, SinDex Partners president Kurt Jürgenstrom added: “Chuck Pugh is a can-do kind of guy who has our absolute confidence. We have acquired an appropriate industrial site in England and Chuck expects construction of the new Rudge production plant to commence in the next three months once planning approvals have been completed.

“We have conducted exceptional due diligence in assessing the viability of this project. On the basis of that, SinDex is happy to commit an effectively limitless funding scale to ensure it happens. Rudge is back on the road!” 

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