Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Action Sports [Print without images]

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Updated: May 25, 1:17 PM ET
DVS Shoe Co. files for bankruptcy

By Keith Hamm
ESPN.com

X Games RallyCross gold medalist Brian Deegan is among DVS's sponsored athletes.

A seemingly perfect storm of economic setbacks has lashed DVS Shoe Co. with such severity that the popular action sports brand filed for bankruptcy last week.

DVS's Chapter 11 filing, which includes Matix clothing (both brands are distributed by Podium), was reported on May 17, when company executives shared the news with shop-eat-surf.com.

DVS owners Tim Gavin and brothers Brian, Kevin, and Mike Dunlap -- who founded the brand in 1995 -- cited a number of events that triggered the decision, including expensive restructuring in Europe, increased materials and factory costs in China, problems with their senior lender, and the overall tough economy.

In the filing, they are opting for what's called the Section 363 auction process. Section 363 under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows the sale of assets through a negotiated purchase agreement approved by the court. The bidding process seeks to ensure the best return to creditors, and the eventual buyer purchases clean assets.

Gavin and the Dunlops did not disclose the names of potential bidders, but they did say in an online report that they expect the process to close within 45 days. In the meantime, they added, "We will have to downsize in certain areas to remain lean throughout the process ... [It] would be naive to say there will be no hiccups, but we will do our best to work with current and new vendors to ensure continued business. Our shoe factories are set up well for this process and have given us no indication of production issues."

DVS and Matix sponsor professional and amateur athletes in moto, snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding, with a roster that includes 2012 Tampa Pro winner Torey Pudwill, FMX champion and defending X Games RallyCross gold medalist Brian Deegan, and three-time Winter X Games gold medalist Jamie Anderson.

"DVS Shoes is doing everything possible to get it back up and moving," DVS pro Daewon Song told ESPN.com. "I've been with them for 15 years and started Matix Clothing with them as well. I always try to support my sponsors to the fullest, thick and thin. If things don't work out then I'm gonna have to find a new home for shoes but I always stay positive and hope for the best."