Former Chief Executive Officer of Norton Motorcycles, Stuart Garner has spoken out for the first time since he was ordered last month to repay 14 million GBP to pensioners who lost their money in as many as three Norton-owned pension schemes when Garner was CEO. In June 2020, the Pension Ombudsman in the UK had directed Garner to pay back the 14 million GBP to members who had invested in the retirement pension schemes. Now, Garner says that he hopes the people who invested millions in the schemes connected to the business could yet receive "all their capital back."
The latest reaction comes after Garner was accused of acting dishonestly in the way he dealt with investors, and used the money in three pension schemes in the struggling Norton Motorcycle brand. Norton went into administration earlier this year, with millions of pounds of debt, and has since been acquired by TVS Motor Company in an all-cash deal for 16 million GBP.
"No one has agreed what the pension investor amount is yet. But with 16 million GBP in cash and several million of property assets to come in, it looks likely that they will receive all their capital back," Garner is quoted as saying in the first such response to the way Norton Motorcycles slipped into a loss-making venture, and the subsequent pensions scandal, in which Garner is accused of being "dishonest and guilty of maladministration."
Garner had rescued the historic British bike brand in 2008, but failed to see the brand become successful, eventually witnessing it fall into administration in January 2020, after a bank froze its accounts because of mounting debts. In addition to the pensions scandal, auditors had raised concerns about Norton's business over the accounts, and scores of bike fans had paid for bikes which had not been delivered.
Now, Garner's property has been put up for sale, including the Donington Hall site, in Lecestershire as well as the Priest House Hotel property, and Hastings House, The Lansdowne Buildings and Kings Mills Caravan Park, within more than 80 acres of real estate. Estate agents Sanerson Weatherall have put the properties in the market, and according to reports, offers will be considered for individual buildings as well.