AMSTERDAM, July 18 (Reuters) – Dutch e-bike maker VanMoof has been declared bankrupt and administrators are considering whether to sell assets and restructure to save the business, the company said on Tuesday.
VanMoof, which raised 100 million euros ($112.56 million) to expand internationally as sales boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, filed for protection from creditors last week.
A statement from the company said a judge at the Amsterdam District Court had declared the company’s Dutch operations bankrupt on July 17.
Two administrators appointed to oversee the company “continue to assess the situation at VanMoof,” including whether it can sell assets, reorganize and continue operating.
VanMoof bikes feature a sleek, simplistic design with the battery built into the frame and have become commonplace on the streets of Amsterdam, where the company was founded in 2009.
Dutch broadcaster NOS reported that the company, which sold bikes for more than 2,000 euros ($2,250) each, suffered from high costs for maintaining and repairing bikes while they were under warranty. Around 200,000 have been sold worldwide.
Police in Amsterdam said on Tuesday that their phone lines were flooded with customers complaining of “theft” because they paid for bikes that have not been delivered or because they have bikes being repaired at the company’s stores, which are now closed.
“The police cannot do anything for the customers, no matter how troublesome this may be,” says a statement from the police.
“A bankruptcy is a civil dispute and not a criminal matter.”
The VanMoof statement noted that the company’s international subsidiaries are not part of the bankruptcy. The company declined to comment further.
NOS reported that brothers Taco and Ties Carlier, VanMoof’s founders, had thanked the company’s workers in an internal email sent to its 700 employees.
“We are sad, but above all, we feel proud of what we have accomplished,” the email reported.
($1 = 0.8890 euros)
Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Louise Heavens and David Goodman
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