As you have probably read, the company has just updated its financing, so it has even more stability than before. Nothing unusual, we have regularly updated our financing arrangements to match with our growth plans. Making a statement on the financing is indeed a bit unusual, and normally wouldn't have been done (as we never have in the past when we've changed bank). Unfortunately in this case some incorrect information was spread, so it was best to at least clarify that. On top of that, Cervelo has entered into talks which may - or may not - lead to a sale of the company. If we think the outlook of such a sale is in the best interest of the company and all its stakeholders, we will.
Now for some things that were mentioned:
- Judging Cervelo on data that is 5-10 years old is pretty silly, none of the staff or revenue numbers mentioned in the various threads are anywhere near correct.
- I read about crisis just like everybody else, but I don't see it in business. Cervelo has grown every year of its existence, including the last few "crisis years". In my view, the top end of almost every market is pretty impervious to crisis, you see the same in other industries. It's really the middle that gets hurt.
- "engineers vs managers". People seem to think that Phil and I are still running this whole company and although we'd love to take credit for it, reality is that we have already added professional management so that we could concentrate on where we can make a difference. And exactly that is interesting to potential buyers - professional management and the founders in positions where they excel.
- "Walmart". Cervelo would only sell to somebody who understands what the brand stands for and where it should go. And that's not down-market.
- "Competing against the big boys". Yes, Trek and Specialized are bigger overall, but not in the niche where we operate. For a short period of time, they can divert funds to that niche, but not for long if they want to protect their total market. And big companies tend to be less efficient in some ways. It took Specialized 4 years to develop the Venge, a bike which according to their own people was slightly less aero than the Cervelo S3 it was measured against. And then after 2 months it was rendered obsolete by the S5.
- Similar story in tri. For all the hyperbole of Specialized's Shiv and Trek's Speed Concept, the P4 is still faster according to independent tests by TOUR magazine in Germany. Even the newest Scott was faster than those two, that bike deserves more props. And of course Cervelo continues to grow in the Kona bike count, despite the high level it is at already (At the current level Kona goers need to buy 200 Cervelos just to keep the count level). Much easier to grow your Kona number when you start from a low base.
- I read somewhere that I sold my shares earlier this year. News to me.
- "Loss for Canada". I think it would more likely be a win for Canada. Continued growth from a Toronto company sounds good to me. Who cares if half the shares are owned by a Dutch guy (as is the case now) or all the shares are owned by a Dutch guy.
Happy New Year everybody,