Using motorcycles in conjunction with lifestyle branding didn’t just start when Ducati released their Scrambler last year and while no one single person or company can really lay claim to beginning the somewhat recent cafe/hipster/retro/lifestyle trend in motorcycles, Deus Ex Machina can certainly be said to at least be among the pioneers. And it looks like they’re close to being sold.
Founder and owner Dare Jennings has walked this road before. He’s the same personality behind the once legendary surf wear brand Mambo which he sold to private equity investors in 2000 and actually used the money from that sale to start Deus. Perhaps unsurprisingly when people with lots of money buy into companies that have cult followings, Mambo quickly became irrelevant with the departure of Jennings when the new owners began mass producing the brands clothing, selling them in department stores like Target and K-Mart.
For fans of Deus Ex Machina, that hopefully won’t happen this time around. Jennings says he intends to stay on in the business – at least for a while – even after the sale. Currently, L-Capital – the private equity arm of LVMH group (who owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs), are most advanced in discussions to buy the company, though Jennings has stated that he is in negotiation with other companies as well.
Deus Ex Machina was founded in Camperdown in Sydney’s inaner-west and now has multiple locations in Australia, Bali, Italy, Japan and Los Angeles. While its main revenue comes from clothing, they’re active in the custom motorcycle scene and famous the world over for their bikes.
It’s estimated the company is worth around $25 million Australian Dollars. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Jennings said, “It’s time to take the company to its next stage and continue its global expansion, something that will require more capital. Pretty much every country in the world we’ve taken this concept to wants to participate. We’ve created the platform; the harsh reality is we need cash to grow from here.