Norton Motorcycles Goes Public on Nasdaq Stock Exchange
21 April 1999Norton Motorcycles Goes Public on Nasdaq Stock Exchange; Nasdaq Listing/Management Changes/Motorcycle Testing/Apparel License
MINNEAPOLIS, April 20 -- Hallmark Properties, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: HMKP) has acquired the assets of Norton Motors International (NMI) in a strategic acquisition made 16 April. A 1-for-42 reverse stock split will occur soon. After the split, Norton Motors International will own 6 million shares in Hallmark out of 6,999,612 common shares outstanding. Hallmark is changing its name to Norton Motorcycles Inc. ("Norton") and its ticker symbol to NMOT. The acquisition includes all Norton trademarks, its Shenstone, England, assembly plant and all motorcycle and engine designs and prototypes. Based on successful tests to date of the NEMESIS and MANX models, Norton expects to complete its initial motorcycle development program later this year. Genesis Capital Group of Minneapolis has agreed to invest an initial $1 million in Norton. MANAGEMENT Mark Osterberg will serve as Norton's Chief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer. From 1990-1998, Osterberg served as Vice President-Finance and Chief Accounting Officer of Northwest Airlines. He brings more than 25 years of finance and management experience to Norton. Myron Calof, formerly Chief Executive Officer of NMI, will serve as Senior Vice President. Calof served as Chief Executive Officer of NMI following its acquisition in March 1998 of the assets of Norton Motorcycles Limited of the United Kingdom. He has previously been a senior officer of two major Canadian development/investment organizations and practiced law. Calof brings to Norton almost 27 years of experience in legal affairs, finance, business and corporate management. John Fiebelkorn will be Norton's Managing Director of Sales, after 20 years at Polaris Industries, where he most recently served as Vice President/International Sales. The Board of Directors will be comprised of John Tastad of Minneapolis and Roberto Aquilini of Vancouver, British Columbia, in addition to Calof and Osterberg. SUCCESSFUL TEST RESULTS Norton has now road-tested two of its initial models, which were designed by Melling Consultancy Design (MCD) of Rochdale, England. The NEMESIS and MANX are powered by 1500 cc V-8 and 750 cc in-line-four engines respectively, which were designed for Norton by MCD. These engines have been in testing since last year. Motor Cycle News has said that "the sight and sound of the 16-valve (MANX) machine firing into life marks another milestone in Norton's comeback story" and described the NEMESIS as the "Hit of the Show," referring to last November's Birmingham Motorcycle Show. The first NEMESIS in North America is now on public display at Leo's South in Lakeville, Minn. APPAREL LICENSE Newly designed Norton apparel and personal accessories will be available on the company's website on 1 May. Norton has signed an extensive license agreement with Canadian-based Wilson International of Vancouver. Wilson has more than 25 years of licensing experience in association with numerous organizations such as Molson Indy Racing and the British Commonwealth Games. The new Norton merchandise will first be available from the company's website and will be distributed to retailers in the UK, USA and elsewhere later this year. Norton's internet website ( http://www.nortonmotorcycles.com ) is being upgraded and will relaunch 1 May. BACKGROUND Headquartered in Plymouth, Minn., with production facilities in England, Norton Motorcycles will market a line of motorcycles and motorcycle products throughout the world. Norton is presently engaged in the design and development and of a line of high-performance, premium motorcycles and the marketing of motorcycle products. All of the products will be sold under the famous "Norton" brand name, which will provide its motorcycles with worldwide appeal and brand recognition among motorcycle enthusiasts. In addition to the NEMESIS and MANX, Norton is developing a V-Twin model.