Historic motorcycle dealer sells
From: The Courier-Mail
June 01, 2012
MORGAN and Wacker, the iconic family business that has sold Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Brisbane since 1917, has been sold to private equity group Archer Capital.
Morgan & Wacker was run by the third generation of the founding Wacker family and is the second oldest Harley-Davidson dealer in the world and the oldest outside the US - where a San Francisco operator, Dudley Perkins Co, has been in business three years longer.
The Brisbane-based group, which also distributes and sells BMW cycles, was for a long time Harley's distributor in Queensland and New Zealand.
But Brad Wacker, who with brother and joint managing director Mark took over the business from their father Bruce, said yesterday that BMW and later Harley-Davidson decided to take the distributorships back in-house.
"The distributorship was the greater part of the business, turning over tens of millions," Brad Wacker said yesterday.
"We looked at quitting then," he said, "but decided to give retailing a go."
Morgan & Wacker opened its doors in 1917 only 14 years after the Wright brothers first flew a powered airplane; five years after the Titanic sank and while World War I was still raging in Europe, according to its website.
Brad Wacker yesterday declined to reveal what Archer had paid for the business but - given the demise over the years of a lot of family-owned motorcycle retailers - he assumed Archer's strategy would be to expand in the sector taking on multiple brands to spread the cost of the flash showrooms demanded by cycle manufacturers.
Among Archer investments over the past decade have been Repco and Rebel sports, the former floated but later privatised again and the latter sold to the Super Cheap group.