Genmar working with stalking horse bidder

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The stalking horse in the Genmar Holdings bankruptcy case has been identified as Project Boat Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Platinum Equity, a global acquisition firm based in Beverly Hills, Calif., according to court documents.

The assets to be sold consist of those owned by the following: Genmar Holdings, Genmar Industries, Genmar IP, Genmar Michigan, Genmar Minnesota, Genmar Tennessee, Genmar Transportation and Wood Manufacturing.
The acquired assets are primarily those used in the design, manufacture and sale of the following boats: Ranger, Stratos, Champion, Wellcraft, Four Winns, Glastron and Larson. The assets also include facilities in Flippin, Ark.; Cadillac, Mich.; and Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The purchase price is $55 million, according to court documents.
The sale does not include Carver, Marquis, Seaswirl, FinCraft, Hydra-Sports, Javelin and other brands, or real estate and production facilities in Little Falls, Minn.; Pulaski, Wis.; and other locations. The sale also does not include the ownership of approximately 93 percent of VEC Technology.
“We are pleased to have a firm of Platinum’s resources and reputation taking the lead in the auction process,” Genmar’s chief restructuring officer Mark Sheffert said in a statement.
As for the brands Platinum is not interested in purchasing, Sheffert said, “We continue the sale process for those brands as well, and we will include them if there are bids for them in the auction, or we will sell them separately.”
Sheffert continued: “Getting Platinum in place as the stalking horse bidder was the beginning of that process, but we are continuing to sell those brands, and we have interested parties, and we anticipate this will all come to a close by mid to the end of January.”
An auction of Genmar’s assets is set for Jan. 7, subject to bankruptcy court approval.
Genmar’s former chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs stepped down from the company earlier this month to avoid a potential conflict of interest as he pursues a purchase of the company.

“I will be a bidder,” Jacobs told Trade Only this morning. “In addition to whatever my bid will be, [it] will also include the Larson/Glastron factory in Little Falls and the Pulaski Marquis/Carver factory and the VEC stock in Genmar.”


Jacobs would not comment on Platinum’s bid, or give any additional details about his bid.

Genmar filed June 1 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Click here for Genmar’s statement.


17 comments on “Genmar working with stalking horse bidder

  1. Vick

    What does this mean for the future of the brands that did not get purchased?  Are the rumors that Carver and Marquis are finished going to come to be?  It’s going to be a tough ride for those boat owners.

  2. Michael Joyce

    Here is one of those forks in the road that dealers always miss. The only reason Platinum Equity is buying these boat companies is becasue they believe the existing dealers will buy their boats and stock them.The dealers should band together with GE Captail as a joint venture partner and buy the boat companies themselves and own their destiny instead of waiting for the next bunch of MBA suits to walk into their show rooms and tell them how to run their businesses. Building boats is not hard, selling boats at retail is really hard. Why do you think that manufactuerers stay out of retail? Because the risks are high, the margins are low, and the hours are long and hard. Like Yogi Berra always said, “When you come to a fork in the road … take it.”

  3. charlie fisher

    Dealers buying Genmar? Brilliant… except can you imagine the company run by committee? Like US Govt running GM and AIG… not good. However, if it could be structured right, I think it is an interesting concept and wish them luck!

  4. Andy Stancil

    It is nice to see someone else interested in Genmar.  What would be better if Dealers became more involved with the bidding war.  And have influence on the group that actually closes the deal.  No matter who ends up with Genmar they need to be more respectful of the Dealers and the history of the Marine Industry.

  5. Chris Foster

    Remember that private equity is looking at this transaction from a strictly business, dollars and sense point of view. Their usual motivation is to buy distressed assets on the cheap and then hopefully re-sell those assets in a relatively short period of time at a profit. This does not lend itself to a long term, stable ownership model for Genmar or any of its brands. These “White Knights” are not boating enthusiasts nor do they have any love of the boating industry. Their interest is strictly driven by the abiltiy to make a profit on the deal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that when they put their money at risk. Just don’t assume Genmar is out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination as a result of this transaction.

  6. amberjack

    $55 mil for Ranger, Wellcraft and Four Winns? Sounds like a bargain to me.
    Just wait until the new management team tries to operate with a cash flow that gets sucked dry by Platinum Equity – all kinds of fees and expenses plus a  double-digit cut of any profit they may scratch out of this tough market.
    Will Mr. Jacobs wind up being a bit player?  His plan for building windmills is looking better all the time.
    Meanwhile, can’t you see Brunswick licking their chops.  It can divide and conquer from the sidlelines … let Platinum take the first wack, wait a few years  and then pick up the best-looking pieces if Platinum sinks.

  7. Bill Singleton

    Seems to me that Mr. Jacobs is intent on getting the assets he wants.  My opinion is that he greatly wants the VEC technology, Carver/Marquis and I would have expected Four Winns at a minimum.
    What will occur if he is able to put a better bid together …. say just above the 55 million offered but for the entire group.  Few can sell off the pieces better than IJ that he may find undesirable.
    Time will tell but still seems that this has all been Mr. Jacobs way of improving his overall equity in the target brands and get some substantial creditors to LEGALLY forgive his debts through and intelligent navigation of the bankruptcy law.  I love the irony in his correspondence where he believed that GENMAR was well positioned to weather the downturn and then to file BK the same day as GM.  Convenient and PR wasn’t too bad given the TERRIBLE state of the economy and outlook for the marine industry.
    In Insurance it is called betterment right?  You can be pretty certain that when the dust settles that Irwin will be in a better position than he otherwise would have been – and all at the expense of others (i.e.: boat owners with no longer valid warranties, boat dealers with inventory and no MFG to fully support them, and a long list of creditors/suppliers that will have taken it on the chin ).   I guess ethical and moral guidance in business is overrated in portions of Minneapolis. 
    Anxious to see where it all settles. Seems predictable but I hope I am wrong for the sake of our industry.

  8. Chuck

    Carver started the year with only fifty employees and the last time I was there no one was working in the plant. It’ll take alot to start up and most employees are terminated may be it a way to cut wages but it doesn’t look good.

  9. Caught in the middle

    I don’t know why the bid doesn’t include Hydra Sport. People buying these boats are not affected by the economic downturn. They have the money (cash) to spend, where as the little guy can’t even afford a bass boat. Ranger has always been one of Irwins babies so to speak. When you have a family member involved your certainly going to make sure that division is taken care of. They should have invested a little more in Hydra Sport for advertising and more presence in the boat shows instead of investing in Ranger. A quarter of a million dollar boat is going to bring in more dollars than a bass boat. You aim your sales where the money is and right now the average Joe doesn’t have any. Such a shame to see a manufacturing icon fall prey to the economy. Irwin was ignorant and should have seen this coming a long time ago.

  10. Grand Man

    My question is,…… why is only certain assets to be sold? Why are certain Genmar companies exempt from the total umbrella of Jacobs businesses.
    I would think the VEC technology is owned by one of the entity’s and it also would be subject to the dissolution of assets. How can Jacobs retain anything, when he is subject to Bankruptcy laws and/or court orders? Suppliers, and dealers should challenge every turn in this action. If it is going to affect the industry, ….. it will trickle down and somehow ,  everyone will feel the effects of poor decisions.

  11. james Nichols

    I think this all stinks. How can anyone allow a Man who is the owner resign so that he can buy back the assets for 50 cents on the dollar! In the meantime all of his suppliers get the screwing. It is plain to see that Irwin will file bankruptcy screw all his creditor and the buy it back and screw them again.
    I dont know but as for me this does not sound fair even legal. Which I am sure it is legal but it should not be. Let Mr. Jacobs go down, he bought many boat companies that were good companies and had decent market share just to close them down to get rid of his competition. Well now he is paying for it, LET HIM!!!!

  12. boatbuilder

    Well it sounds like the the current/former employees in Cadillac, Flippin and Murfeesboro stand to be the the biggest winners providing that Platinum Equity wins in the final bidding. On the flip, not such good news for others as they must wait for the whole thing to shake out. The rank and file are the ones who stand to gain or lose the most depending on who prevails. Hopefully the little guy (dealers, employees current/former and suppliers) do not end up as the biggest losers.

  13. Drakester

    Irwin Jacobs will be the highest bidder for the companies he wants. I’ll bet he has a caring side like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman and will make right with all of the individuals that were personally impacted by this economic diaster. The banks, lenders and others who sat on their hands should be reimbursed with a bag of coal.   

  14. Doug Reimel

    There are a couple of Good brands left on the list. They can be picked up for less than peanuts with molds included. There is basically free production facilities available in southern states begging for jobs. Would not have to build huge numbers to make a profit. Any Dealers interested in owning a piece of the product they sell. Dividend checks cash just as well as any other check
    Let me know if your interested.
    Doug Reimel

  15. Bubba D.

    This is not verified but it appears that Stratos is being moved to Flippin with Ranger. Production has stopped in Murfeesboro and should be moving starting next week.That would leave an unpurchased brand Hydro-Sports at Murfeesboro in a building owned by ???

  16. Joe Boo

    When Ranger expanded their plant a few years ago, I called it.  They weren’t doing it because Ranger was going to sell more boats and needed the production, they are going to move the other bass boat companies in house to lower overhead.  Strange that Jacobs resigned recently to “avoid a conflict of interest”. This plan was hatched several years ago. It was no secret the market for boats in general was compressing. Why pay for brand consolidation when he can do it on the backs of creditors/shareholders?
    Am I the only one who finds it strange?  How does he go from the quote of their position strength during the economic turmoil, to “30 days ago I would have never seen this coming”-Irwin Jacobs.  I call BS.  For all the Jacob’s worshipers out there saying he’s so smart, you really buy that quote? 
    Same goes for the sponsor motors chasedown.  Something is fishy.
     I wish the dealers would somehow put it to him. I hope he stubbed his toe somewhere and his plan falls apart.

  17. Dale the Glastron guy

    Is this not the guy that decimated Arctic Cat in the 80’s looks like another good deal for him and bad for the shareholders and employees that made the brands what they are and not what they became.

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