Wheel specialist Mavic has been placed into receivership by a commercial court, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
French unions have reportedly asked for accountability from former parent company Salomon - and its primary shareholder, Finnish company Amer Sports.
Slightly different to going into administration, receivership means one or more 'receivers' are appointed, and they take legal charge of the company assets. An appointed receiver takes control of assets and works in the interest of creditors.
Mavic employs around 250 people and is known for providing neutral service at ASO races - including the Tour de France, a race it has partnered with for 40 years.
The 1889 founded brand is responsible for the likes of the market leading Aksium and Ksyrium wheelsets, as well as manufacturing equipment like shoes and clothing.
Gérard Meunier, secretary of the Social and Economic Committee (CSE), told AFP: "The Grenoble commercial court declared us in receivership on May 2, with an observation period of six months."
Former Mavic owner, Amer Sports - a stakeholder in Salomon as well as Wilinson and Suunto - reportedly sold the business to a Californian investment fund Regent LP in July last year.
Speaking to France3 (opens in new tab), Meunier said: "Regent people came to Annecy in July 2019 to tell us that we were a sleeping gem, that they believed in Mavic. And since then, nothing. Not an investment, not an answer."
With all talk of investment ceased, sources say that Mavic was placed in a conciliation procedure in December, with the courts appointed to investigate details of the exchange between Amer Sport and Regent LP. From here, the French press report, it was learned that Amer had sold the business to Delaware based M Sports.
Meunier comments: "[We now want to know] under what conditions Salomon and the Amer Sports group sold Mavic? And who is behind this company M Sports and why it acquired Mavic?"
Despite the seemingly bleak situation, Meunier still hopes a buyer will come forward to save the iconic brand, "we should find a buyer with a real project and who wants to stay in the Annecy basin," he said.
The news comes just three days after it was announced that Ernesto Colnago had sold a majority share of the Italian bike brand to an Abu Dhabi investment fund.
The 88-year-old passed over the lionshare of the business to Chimera Investments LLC on Monday.
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Cycling Weekly's Digital Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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