After the tragic death of the company’s founding partners, US Highland, a promising new US motorcycle company, was going nowhere. In January, it was announced the plant was closing while the search went on for funding to continue operations. There are some new developments.
It seems US Highland had an IPO, (UHLN) on the OTC.
A new Director has been appointed, Robert Harris, who has a varied background in both the automotive and financial fields, most recently with St. James International, an independent investment consultancy firm headquartered in Malaga Spain. Prior to that he was a fight promoter, which appears to be a relevant detail.
From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Harris founded, established and created a sports entertainment organization called Elite Fighting Federation Ltd. where he served as president. Focusing on the promotion of the mixed martial arts, he built and maintained the sports entertainment company. Mr. Harris has extensive experience building relationships with competitors, managers, corporate partners and provincial Athletic Commissions. Since its inception, Mr. Harris has succeeded in creating strong brand awareness for Elite and has produced multiple sold-out events, all of which have accomplished PPV broadcasts throughout Canada and the USA.
More interesting than Harris is the name of the new CEO/CFO, it’s John R. Fitzpatrick, III. If the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, he is the former President and CEO of the Gilroy Indian Motorcycle Company, one of several ill-fated attempts to bring back the Indian brand.
Mr. Fitzpatrick left Harley-Davidson to become the Vice President of Strategy at the reformation of Indian Motorcycles in Gilroy, California and was promoted to president and chief executive officer shortly after joining the company.
Both of these appointments took place on September 20, 2011. Just a few weeks later, they sponsored a UFC fight on October 8th in Houston, Texas. Did any of you see that fight? If so, do you remember any reference to US Highland?
Every situation is different, but this is certainly an interesting way to get the company back in the motorcycle business. There didn’t seem to be any press releases, at least none that I’m aware of, alerting the motorcycle community to their reorganization and funding, a logical place to start if you want to sell motorcycles, though there were the required SEC disclosures. The sponsorship of a UFC matchup, so soon thereafter, seems a bit premature for brand awareness when the company itself isn’t really doing anything yet. This could be a story worth watching.