Erik Buell Racing LLC has received $20 million in EB-5 funding from investment fund manager First Pathway Partners LLC, and the East Troy, Wis.-based OEM plans to use that money to expand its facility, create several hundred new jobs, develop more street bikes at a lower price point and grow its international exports.
The federal EB-5 funding is part of a government program put in place in 1990 that allows foreign nationals seeking U.S. residency and citizenship to make financial investments and create jobs in select U.S. markets, according to FirstPathway Partners.
"EB-5 investment funding through FirstPathway Partners is a key part of the financing structure which will allow our company to expand its product line by developing and introducing a broad line of world-class street motorcycles at lower price points than our current products," EBR founder and owner Erik Buell said. "Our research shows a very strong global market for this kind of motorcycle, and this funding will allow motorcycles designed and assembled right here in East Troy to be used in China, India, Europe -- all over the world. It's a great boost not only for our company, but also for Wisconsin's exports and American business as a whole."
EBR plans to do all of its design, testing and assembly work at its East Troy facility and to work with American vendors when possible. The company's goal is to export half of its products within the next three or four years.
"This investment in a growing American company is what the EB-5 program is all about," said Bob Kraft, chairman, CEO and founding partner of FirstPathway Partners. "EBR motorcycles are made in America and in great demand worldwide. This investment will create good manufacturing and engineering jobs in Wisconsin for skilled American workers and greatly strengthen a local company's position in the global marketplace."