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January 02, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Schwinn OKs Buyout: The troubled Schwinn Bicycle Co. has agreed to a $40-million buyout, likely ending family control of the century-old manufacturer that provided first wheels for many Americans. The Chicago-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, announced that it would accept a buyout offer from Zell-Chilmark Fund. Schwinn's market share dwindled to about 12% in the mid-1970s, and to 7% today. In November, Schwinn laid off half of its work force of 320 people nationwide. In deciding to accept the offer, Schwinn noted that it was responding to impatient bondholders, who set a Jan. 19 deadline for approval of the deal. Details of the agreement were not known, but it was believed that the deal is essentially the same as the one offered by Zell Chilmark--and rejected by Schwinn--in mid-December.

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