Genmar files for bankruptcy protection

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Genmar Holdings, the country’s second-largest boatbuilder, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization protection in U.S. bankruptcy court.

“If someone would have said to me as recently as even one month ago that Genmar would someday be filing for Chapter 11, I would have said it was not even a remote possibility,” Genmar chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs said in a statement.

“I’ve always looked for ways to enhance Genmar’s balance sheet and felt that even though business conditions were incredibly difficult, there were alternatives available,” he added. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the necessary time to complete any of the alternative financing acceptable to the banks.”

Jacobs said he plans on reorganizing and coming out of Chapter 11 “as a stronger and better company.” The company will submit its overall reorganization plans for approval to the court as soon as possible.

Genmar has more than $100 million in current assets, as well as additional fixed assets and intangible assets it believes will allow the company to come through this, Jacobs said.

Minneapolis-based Genmar Holdings has approximately 1,500 employees in five manufacturing centers. The company builds 15 boat brands, including the recently introduced FinCraft, which are sold worldwide through its approximately 1,100 dealers.

Look for more on Monday’s Chapter 11 filing in today’s daily e-newsletter from Trade Only.


28 comments on “Genmar files for bankruptcy protection

  1. Bill Kearns

    The bad decisions were marketing decisions that attempted to aid their dealer network. They were ineffective, and perhaps costly, yet they were better than sitting on your hands and doing nothing to move the industry forward.
    Ominous day for the boating industry because Genmar has very viable and competitive products that were not overly priced. I wish my former colleagues at Genmar and HMC well.

  2. arch

    Irwin Jacobs comments are totally bogus.  That’s the nicest thing I can say.  If I speak my mind and tell the truth, the post will never make it through.

  3. A. Myers

    I think back to just a month or two ago regarding the 3 or 4 part interview Mr. Jacobs “Pompous Emperor” gave with Soundings or Marine Industry Magazine. In it, he was glowing with rosy predictions and corporate doublespeak. In hindsight it looks like Nero was fiddling while Rome was burning.

  4. great12 live

    Jacobs is a interesting fellow, though I would have never expected this. Brunswick is right behind this move………

  5. BethR

    The multi-part interview with Irwin Jacobs appeared in another industry magazine, not Soundings or Soundings Trade Only.
     - Beth Rosenberg

  6. Former dealer

    Genmar heading for bankruptcy, eh? Hmmm. Everyone pay attention here, because this is what always happens when a dealership or manufacturer gets too big. It literally tips over. Crystal-Pierz Marine was a classic example, as was Link Marine. They try to corner the market and then raise prices to cover all their investments. My feeling is that companies both small and large should concentrate on improving what they have and realize that the consumer is number one, dealer infrastructure is number two, shareholders and management are number three. To change that is to commit financial suicide. Don’t believe me? Then look at AIG, GM and Chrysler. I think most, if not all business failures are rarely caused by the customers. I’m so darned glad to be out of the marine business. What used to be a wonderful industry is now a bewildering and unprofitable one and has prostituted itself by selling everything wholesale. There are some exceptions, like Cobalt boats, which keeps it’s nose to the grindstone and works to make everyone happy and profitable. I’d welcome other opinions on this website. Thanks for listening.

  7. Steve Henry

    Any thoughts on what this might do to GE?  Are they at or near their repurchase obligation?  Would GE be responsible for any product outside this obligation? 

  8. former genmar dealer

    The day of reckoning has finally recognized Irwin Jacobs who we all know would turn his back on any dealer that he felt would become a problem. Loyalty is a word he does not understand.I hope for all the families he will affect that he becomes a little more humble and his failure is due to his inability to surround himself with the right staff and listen to them and stay remote from control

  9. Dboat

    Selling boats to dealers in one thing, selling boats to customers is another. Opening dealers, endorsing them so they can buy more boats will get you going for so long. Now that all those boats are on their way back to the manufacturer they’ll find a way not to buy them back. Bankruptcy is the way……

  10. CaptainKman

    You only need to look at Fin Crafts dealer requirements in order to sign up.  One must order to truck loads of boats and have them delivered prior to Dec. 31.  Yes sir, take a new, unproven brand in poor economic times and load the dealer.  Just another reason Genmar and other companies who do business like this are now out of business or in serious trouble.  Too bad to many dealers had to fall by the wayside first because of the short sighted manufacturers.

  11. Marc Nave, Bluewave Plastics

    Apparently a lot of folks have some ill feelings for Irwin and Company. I for one do not and hope that this will allow them to right the ship and find a way out of this mess that we have all been effected by. I’m certain that Irwin did not plan on the fact that the marine industry has gone away for all intents and purposes. I suppose none of us did or we would be lying on the proverbial island with cocktail in hand, sitting on our money until all returns to normal or a facscimile thereof. When all is said and done, those of us that weather this storm will come out of this much stronger and very much the wiser. As for Genmar, good luck to all affected.

  12. John D

    Mr. Jacobs obviously evokes strong emotional responses from a number of people.  From the looks so far, they are not positive.  It is my guess that most people are not disappointed in seeing Jacobs’ high regard for his own opinions getting a few dents and scratches.
    I suspect he will choreograph the bankruptcy in the manner he has always tried to run business – a mix of media appearances saying how wonderful things will be while being completely ruthless in making cuts and shedding costs and employees.
    Some entity will likely emerge from bankruptcy and likely with Jacobs as the leader.  Mr. Jacobs projects so much confidence that he seemingly always is able gain a business following.  So while he enjoys so little personal adoration, don’t plan on dancing on his company crypt just yet.

  13. A Williams

    Given Irwin’s lofty comments in his recent industry interview he is either completely out of touch with his business or a complete blowhard.  Either way he should be the first one to go in a Chapter 11 reorg, a la Rick Wagoner at GM. 

  14. Been_there_Done_that

    This is a very joyous day for my family and myself!  You see, we were a large Genmar dealership that hit some hard times financially and reached out to Irwin for help.  He, in turn, had me speak with Roger Cloutier.  I was forced to file for Chapter 11 protection and was told, by Cloutier, that it was OUR problem and they refused to help.  Soon after every vendor that we dealt with refused to sell us product, even COD!  We were unable to do warranty work or even rig sold boats without the needed products.  We were unable to do any repairs and were ultimately forced to file Chapter 7 and liquidate.  Genmar refused to pay us warranty monies owed and wouldn’t send us our earned rebates.  I pray that this exact same thing happens to Genmar.  I hope that both Irwin and Roger feel the pain and shame of business failure!  Keep in mind, we were one of Genmar’s largest dealership and they just shrugged us off.  For the very first time, today I believe in karma!  If Genmar showed the slightest bit of compassion, we’d probably still be in business.  They didn’t, and now I wish them the same exact fate!

  15. Will G.

    The news about Gen Mar is not surprising. We feel for
    the people and their families that will lose their jobs and possibly their
    Gen Mar will come through this on the backs of taxpayers and consumers. As for Mr. Jacobs, he can talk his was out of anything
    and sound convincing doing it.
    Infectious greed in our industry and many others is a new way of life in the U.S.
    Our beloved boating industry  is heading towards a rich mans sport as it was in the first half of the 20th century. Few middle class people will be able to afford this luxury.
    Will G.
    33 year Marine industry veteran

  16. amberjack

    Irwin Jabobs plays the industry media very well – you would be a lapdog too if you were worried about Genmar advertising revenue.
    I see some former dealers ain’t buying into it, judging from the comments here. The big question is — will the banks and creditors? Comments from Jacobs like “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the necessary time to complete any of the alternative financing acceptable to the banks” just reek of (BS) to me.”
    I guess the white knights aren’t returning his calls.

  17. Kevin Belcher

    For everyone taking this opportunity to attack Jacobs, remember this. Jacobs is the head of a company that has provided jobs for thousands of employees, suppliers employees, and dealers employees for 25+ years. He has expanded his business at times in which it might not have been in his best interest, but kept people in jobs. Let us not forget that over the years he has picked up companies/employees at the brink of bankruptcy and gave them jobs.
    Say what you will, but for me this is a sad day.

  18. steve wacker

    To All Concerned,
    Please note that the email that was supposedly sent from Steve Wacker is a FRAUD. I have been a loyal dealer of Genmars for years and I have the utmost respect  for them and hold them in the highest regard.
    We will do our best to find out who wrote this email message and hold them responsible for this.
    Steve Wacker, Pres.
    Thunder Marine

  19. Lund Dealer

    I’ve had the pleasure of dealing one-on-one with Irwin Jacobs and found him to be a heartless egomaniac, with absolutely no consideration for his dealers.   I hope he develops an appetite for crow.

  20. capnbill

    Bankruptcy is a terrible thing for any person or business. Now it seems everyone wants to pile on. Jacobs had an ego, so what, the problem we all should be looking at is how this effects the industry and it’s future. Loss of confidence by the retail buying public will be one result that will effect the entire industry. We had all better hope that the wheels don’t come completely off this because it will be devastating to one heck of a lot of hard working folks. I’m sure Jacobs and the executives will fair much better than the workers, dealers and their employees. There will be those in the wholesale side of the industry that are having a good laugh. I hope that when they stop laughing they will search their souls for ways to help their dealers make it through this and open their minds to fair and reasonable dealer agreements. As for me I’ll say a prayer for every Genmar employee and dealer.

  21. Ole Boat Builder

    Something we all have to remember, in a chapter 11, the filer now has the opportunity to continue business while they negotiate their debt with their hundreds of suppliers who have been hit just as hard by the collapse of the boating industry.
    Genmar will probably negotiate a 10-20 cents on the dollar settlement with many of their suppliers, throwing the burden on all of the suppliers to absord the hit that Genmar created.
    Many of these suppliers will now either fail or have to declare bankruptcy simply to survive.  The ripple effect continues on down the ladder, while Genmar, now free of a major part of its’ debt comes out smelling like a rose!
    Don’t telll me that this hasn’t been planned for a long time!

  22. Former Genmar insider

    I am Happy for Mr. Jacobs. What goes around comes around. Unfortunately he will come out of it better. As another post said he will stick all his vendors with his debt and force them out of business. Vendors that he already put the screws to to be a vendor.
    Maybe all the companies he bought solely to keep them at bay and to extinguish his competition are a factor. If he would of just left them to prosper and supported them to help expand their business he would have had a better bottomline. He srewed many loyal customers, dealers and employees over the past few years. I for one could only hope that he looses but he wont. All I know is that since I have left the Genmar family and the brand, the brand is nearly extinct. which was one of the only territories meeting or exceeding sales goals.
    We could only hope he goes away, good riddens!

  23. Faithful

    Say what you want about Irwin but there is no way this was by design. Have a look around. Genmar must be affected just as the entire industry has been by this recession.
    It’s happening to everyone, the difference is, Irwin has the skill and resources to turn it around and come out #1 not #2 as they were heading in to bankruptcy.
    My hopes, prayers and support are their for the staff, suppliers and dealers.
    Go get ’em Irwin!

  24. George

    I don’t feel a bit sorry for this egotistical creep, but its too bad for all the employees and suppliers.  When I was a Lund dealer this guy did absolutely nothing to help me when business went sower; only went and gave the dealership to a competitor down the road, and then some more competitors when the succeeding dealers dropped of the map.
    When I asked him about warranty isses at MRAA, he sternly put his hand on my shoulder in a dramatic way and said “Son, let me tell you…”  At 40 years old I did not appreciate his banter, reared back and asked him “Who the hell do you think you’re talking to??”  End of conversation.
    After being in bankruptcy and experiencing it first-hand, anything can happen in and out of the courtroom.  I hope he goes in there and puts on his cocky act.  No federal judge or trustee could care less about him.
    If any dealer is contimplating bankruptcy, my advice is don’t do it for many reasons. Work it out in another fashion as the lawers will deceive and drain you of your last dime

  25. capt dave

    Although this is a bad day for the boating industry i feel no compasion
    for Jacobs.  I was also a large Wellcraft dealer that was owed thousands
    of dollars in warranty and never got paid.  I was also forced out of business
    by having to keep so much inventory on hand and most of that had problems
    from the factory as well.  Jacobs never thought of his dealers unless they
    were the few mega dealers that he touted.  He will come out and all the
    suppliers and little guys will take the hit for him.  It is a shame the industry
    is in this bad way.

  26. D. Williams

    Mr. Jacobs sure knows how to play the media!! I was a vendor for many years and knew how he played the game. Year after year of coming back to the vendors and asking for concessions, beating them down with competitors quotes, etc. I feel for all of the current vendors who have to deal with this in already trying times. Did not expect this bankruptcy but yet not surprised. It will unfortunately, make him even stronger!

  27. Brian

    Not too suprised they have to file with boating going the way and I also attacehd a response I received from their “customer service dept”.  If they are taking care of all their customers this way they won’t be around long.
    Dear Four WinnsI am sorry also as I plan on selling this boat and buying a new one.  I have been loyal to Four Winns since I started boating and this is our third Four Winns no other boat was ever considered.  I know GM did this type of great service in the 80’s and look where it put them!  Your answer of basically saying too bad for me is totally unbelievable to me.  I hope you are all able to keep your jobs as you treat customers this way.  Good luck!  I will tell people about this and will also post on the internet for the buyer to beware.—–Original Message—–From: Four Winns Information Services []Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 8:55 AMSubject: Re: General Contact from Four Winns WebsiteHello Mr. ,We are sorry to learn of your dillema, however the only other option is to replace the entire window with another version which would require extensive modification to the cutout.Sorry for this inconvenience.Regards,-Four Winns

  28. davslyn

    To all those who cannot afford to consult an attorney, here is all that is needed to protect yourself in the Genmar bankruptcy, i.e. warranty, future warranty, defects, fraud, etc.
    owners, previous owners, any persons that attempted to purchase the following products:
    Below are the links for forms that can be used to file a claim against Genmar, Ranger, and any other Genmar companies.
    If you are owed money from any Genmar company for ANY REASON, you may file a claim in the Genmar Bankruptcy, or the Bankruptcy of that particular company. ( case numbers below)
    If you have a cause that is not specific money related, and involves any corrupt or unscrupulous action or actions by a Genmar Company, Rep, Dealer, on a sale , warranty, etc, you can file a adversary proceeding, which starts a separate action from the bankruptcy case in the same court.

    Mail completed forms to:
    Bankruptcy clerks office
    301 U.S. Courthouse
    300 South Fourth Street
    Minneapolis MN 55415
    U.S. Trustee
    Sarah J Wencil
    300 South Fourth Street
    Suite 1015
    Minneapolis, Mn 55415
    Debtor Attorney
    James Baillie
    200 South Sixth Street
    Suite 4000
    Minneapolis MN 55415
    Companies and associated case numbers::
    Genmar Holdings,09-43537 // Carver Industries 09-43538 // Carver Italia 09-33773 // Carver Yachts 09-33774 // Genmar Florida 09-43539 // Genmar Industries 09-43540 // Genmar IP 09-43541 // Genmar Manufacturing Kansas 09-43542 // Genmar Michigan 09-43543 // Genmar Minnesota 09-33775 // Genmar Tennessee 09-43544 // Genmar Transportation 09-43545 // Genmar Yacht Group 09-43546 // Marine Media 09-43547 // Minstar 09-43548 // Trimuph Boats 09-43550 // VEC Leasing 09-43552 // VEC management 09-43553 // VEC Technology 09-43554 // Windsor Craft Yachts 09-43555 // Ranger Boats; Wood Manufacturing Company, Inc. 09-43556

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