Platinum Equity buys majority of Genmar

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California-based Platinum Equity has purchased “essentially all the assets” of Genmar Holdings for $70 million, chief restructuring officer Mark Sheffert confirmed to Soundings Trade Only.

Genmar founder Irwin Jacobs, who along with a partner purchased the Carver and Marquis brands, said he still hopes to own additional brands Platinum Equity purchased, but were not part of the group’s original bid.

Platinum purchased a total of 11 brands, Sheffert said, including Ranger, Stratos, Champion, Wellcraft, Four Winns, Larson, Glastron and others.

Carver and Marquis were purchased for $6.05 million by J&D Acquisitions LLC, a company created by Jacobs, along with John Paul DeJoria.

MCBC Hydra Boats, a subsidiary of Wayzata Investment Partners, purchased Hydra-Sports for $1 million, Sheffert said.

Genmar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection June 1. Jacobs had originally intended to reorganize his company but last fall changed direction to a sale of its assets.

“We are pleased with the results of the auction process and look forward to bringing closure to this transaction so that the businesses can refocus their energies and resources on sales and service without the inherent distractions of being in bankruptcy,” Sheffert said.

A spokesperson for Platinum Equity could not immediately be reached for comment.

All of the acquisitions are subject to bankruptcy court approval. A hearing is set for Wednesday.

Jacobs told Soundings Trade Only he was “euphoric” about the outcome of the auction and felt the companies were in good hands. He also said he plans to purchase certain assets back from Platinum Equity after the court hearing, including the Larson brand and its factory, FinCraft, Triumph and Seaswirl.

“I told [Platinum Equity] there were certain things I was interested in that I know they had no interest in, but they purchased them to get the thing done, and it is our intention to sit down in good faith when they get done in court securing the court’s approval for everything,” Jacobs said.

“They will negotiate with me in good faith and sell me these assets so I can keep these factories open, and they’ve assured me that they will deal fairly with me, and [they] appreciate the way that I’ve dealt with them,” he added.

The auction, which was held over two days, was managed by Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital Inc., which signed an agreement in November with stalking horse bidder Project Boat Holdings, an affiliate of Platinum Equity.

– Beth Rosenberg


42 comments on “Platinum Equity buys majority of Genmar

  1. tiredcaptain

    this is great new as maybe there are bidders that will keep some of the brands in tact moving forward!

  2. BassBoats1

    Finally done / dealers can move forward and answer questions and concerns from customers regarding making a boat purchase and be confident in that purchase.

  3. Former Carver Employee

    Mabey now my employment status can change to current Carver employee.I think this will be good for past employees who should be able to reapply for jobs and for the business’s in pulaski.I think this is a good outcome for a very stressful 8 months

  4. yachtpilot

    There is still no financing available to make yacht buying go again. And there are still so many available that are new yet, at bargain prices, and those are not selling.
    Ya gotta make alot of yachts to turn a profit with an operation that big, even in the good ole days it was tough. Small boats are selling, slowly, but they will be OK. But the big ones?  
    It will be also interesting to see how the outstanding warranty issues will be handled, all those customers that were left to pay for repairs on their own….and all those boats still brand new, on the market, but built by the former companies. 
    It’s not over yet. 

  5. mnvikings56401

    Thank God it is almost over. We still have to sit and wait for the final hearing. That is the hardest part.
    Let’s hope that Irwin gets Larson Boats in Little Falls back. I hate to see all those employees out of work.
    My prayers go out to all the families involved/affected by this. Best of luck to you all.

  6. Respect my Authority

    What is Ranger going to do now that they don’t have Irwin to give them exclusive rights to their own market that he let them control it ??? But I guess Randy will still have control over his main competitors Stratos and Champion but he may have to build them LOL What and insult to him

  7. Still not Convinced

    What about the jobs in TN…..its only great news if everyone can keep their jobs!

  8. Ranger Fan

    I am part of the Ranger family, and I can tell you that Ranger got to the top because of Forrest, Randy, our loyal dealers, and the dedicated employees that work/worked for them.
    And, because of Randy, Ranger will continue to be the industry leader!
    Yes, Irwin was good for Ranger and we wish him and the rest of the Genmar family well and pray that 2010 will be much better for all.
    Thank you to the dealers that stuck with us through the last several months. We appreciate you all, so very much.

  9. skier

    So it looks like MasterCraft Boat Co. is getting into the salt water fishing business. Wayzata Investment Partners is the same group that bought MasterCraft debt from Penske Corp and the new owners are called MCBC Hydra Boats.
    I wander if they are planning on moving the molds and equipment to Vonore TN to do the manufacturing in their large plant there? It would let them expand more into the Salt Water business that they have been doing for the last few years.

  10. flippin_orginal

    i think that the hoppers should have to go work the factory line as there jobs and that the “lil people” should have a chance at there job. they are always telling people how fast they can do there job BUT none of them has ever worked as a factory line worker. make them put there mouth is and that is on the line!!!! pull there offices from them just like they have done to 100’s of employees and they have put their “engineers” in there job, there were people that had been there over 20 yrs. that they fired. get rid of them and ranger boats would be a great company, they are the ones who ran the business in the ground!!!! everyone else was let go but they made sure they got there $500,000.00 bonsus each yr. kick them to the curb and show them that they aren’t safe just like all the people that they canned.

  11. BassBoats1

    I cannot believe that someone would come on to this site and bash the Randy and Greg Hopper.  The ignorance amazes me – they both started out working in the factory and have been promoted accordingly.  Randy Hopper knows more about building, designing and selling bass boats than anybody in the industry.  Both are very fair and have done a great job at Ranger. 

  12. yeah, you betcha!

    Irwin’s script sounds a tad  hopeful.  Who’s got the blue poker chips now, big boy?

  13. Respect my Authority

    Look at all the Genmar companies and which one was working steady throughout the whole bankruptcy supporting them with the most profit.Genmar TN was the one working to pay all Rangers advertising because that was what keeps them on top.Don’t take me wrong ranger is a great company but they were just hand fed by Irwin. They got all the advertising money and exclusive rights to all FLW tournaments that’s why you only saw ranger banners there and promotions!!

  14. primetime

    Seems that Project Boats Platinum Equity]that deals in damaged,insurance,donated,liquidations is going to really prosper as they are tops in cleaning up a mess
    They come and clean up raising a bid from 52 to 70 million just to be real only player,tying up Little falls.
    When a company that deals in ths same type of market that made Irwin his money and follows his suit to aquire his former belongings it seems possible they have the whole boat market for couple seasons
    they can sell everything from parts,junk,good ,bad ,and ugly
    look them up on web and see the Project Boats company operating forum 

  15. glastron dealer

    The I-me guy is still at it. I only hope that Platinum is smart enough to not sell larson and the Minn. facility to Irwin. His dealers don’t need to go through the same crap over and over again. Once bitten- twice shy.

  16. wny glastron dealer

    Looks like the “I” “me” guy is still at it. My hope is that Platinum has the common sense to keep the Minn. facility and enter into an agreement with the “I” “me” guy to license the VEC process and continue to manufacture Glastrons and Larsons using that process. Or sell him Larson and let him re-tool for the VEC models.

  17. mh

    First, im glad carver/marquis is still with jacobs.  Im glad this whole thing is pretty much over and im still hoping i can go back to work in pulaski soon. I hope things will end up being ok for the little falls people as well. I would love to work in the conditions i was say about 2 years ago!! Be positive people and positive thing will happen!!

  18. Hopeful

    The Murfreesboro plant has been informed of Platinums intentions they are going to move Stratos and Champion to the Ranger location. Keep the property to see if the buyer of Hydra Sport want to lease the building to run production.During these hard times the Murfreesboro plant contiued to run due to good dealers and management. If these two brands are moved I feel they will be lost. I hope the employees of Murfreesboro get the chance to keep building the brands they truely pour their hearts into. It still might be to early to tell and Platinum might change their plans. But no body knows.

  19. jimmy

    “…Carver and Marquis were purchased for $6.05 million by J & D Acquisitions, LLC, which is a company created by Jacobs, along with John Paul DeJoria….”
    $6.05 million for Carver & Marquis? that is cheap!  couple of Marquis 70foot worth that money.  does that mean the buyer will assume some other cost on top of $6 million?
    Or does that indicate midsize boat/yacht business is pretty much dead at least in near future?
    Anybody knows more?

  20. Ranger Will Never Recover

    Do any of you know Jacob and his history of buying and bankrupting companies.  The only person this has gained is Jacobs.  The Ranger brand will never be the same.  Platinum will run it in the ground the sell to, guess who?  Jacobs!  This has happened over and over again.  I ho estly can’t believe it is legal!  GOODBYE RANGER BOATS!

  21. haley

    Randy Hopper’s leadership at Ranger has been second to none.  The sale yesterday is a huge step in the right direction for the Genmar brands.  Let’s pray the economy rebounds and folks all over this country are put back to work soon.

  22. anonymous

    Those of you who have been bashing Mr. Randy Hopper of Ranger on here are totally out of line!  You will not find a better businessman or man in general than him.  He is one of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with.  He learned form the best, Forrest & Nina would guided him along the way and are still doing so.  How dare you say he and his brother Greg have never worked on the “line”.  They both started at Ranger as teenagers and have done almost every job there and can still do them very well.  Who do you think was out there working on boats daily during the shutdown, withouth pay mind you, finishing product and getting things ramped up to start back!!!  They were….with help from others.  I’m sorry to rant, but it angers me when people talk about others using false information.  anaRanger is not your typical business…’s a family….and anyone who has been involved with it in any way for any period of time knows that!  This is not the first owner bankruptcy they have been through, they have survived and will continue to and I see them coming back strong in 2010!  The industry as a whole will never be the same and no one expects it to but it will come back.  I know that Randy and all of the Ranger Management Team were very pleased with the news and I for one and happy for them.  I think it is definitely a move in the right direction! 

  23. Mark Wittlief

    I am glad to hear that Four Winns has a new owner and  they could possibly expand the Cadillac Michigan location. There are many high quailty people  at Four Winns that have been ferloughed in the past year. Lets all hope our industry is in for a solid recovery in 2010 and beyond.
     Best of luck Four Winns!

  24. Ranger Fan

    Thank you Anonymous - you took the words right out of my mouth! I’m sorry the good news we got Friday has been turned into such negative and harmful words  by those that just want to hurt others.
    We don’t know anything about Stratos & Champion coming to Flippin, even though it’s been rumored that Stratos was coming for years. If it does, our heart goes out to you and your families affected.
    Instead of blaming people and bashing our company, why not wait until something is made offfical before jumping to conclusions?
    Keep in mind – negative attitudes won’t get you anywhere.

  25. dealer

    Who’s gonna buy a boat from any of these company’s. With all of us not knowing what is going to happen with any warranty now or in the future. How can anyone feel sure that their problems will be takeen care of. Please stand behind the stable independant manufactures and be restassured that you will be taken care of. The heck with the mega big money investors. They don’t know thw business. I’ll be the first to tell you that the outside firms that you hire to consult you on your business’ don’t really know your business!  BE CAREFULL REMAINING DEALERS!!!!!

  26. Dan

    Jimmy,  You asked about the price of $6M for Carver and Marquis that J&D paid seeming like a low price.  Typically these transactions are for all the assets and liabilities of the acquired holdings.  I’m certain they have many suppliers and tax authorities to settle up with that will require them to come out of pocket a lot more as they begin to restart these companies.

  27. salt Man

    I truly believe Hydra-Sports got the best deal.  A new home with a company that really cares about quality and margins.  I hope they are up and running soon.  The Hydra-Sports dealers must be happy.
    I am not a huge Bass person but I have been in the marine business for over 25 years and I can not believe what you people are saying about Ranger.  Ranger has been a company that has been on top for years.  I agree that Irwin has dumped a ton of money into it but they built a great boat.
    I thinkn the dealers need to focus on their daily business and get ready to move forward.  If you weren’t happy with your Genmar brand why did you wait until now to complain or make a change.  I don’t beleive Irwin owned your dealership.

  28. Doug Reimel

    Hello Mr. Irwin Jacobs
       I have bashed you on this board when I felt you deserved it. I have to say that when you work in your expertise you do well. Thank You for the money I have made with your products. Yes, I am still ticked our last dealings with one of your brands. However, we must move forward, each and everyone of us.
    To the new owners; when employing management for your boat companies do yourself a favor. Higher boating industry veterans with applicable education. Avoid highering educated people who like boats and you will be profitable and have a great dealer network. 
    Mr. Jacobs your intentions to stay in the Marine business is what I expect. After all this is family, the boat business family. We fight, we cuss, we scream and at the end of the day we just want to get out on the water. There is room for you too. I know you will do well.
    Doug Reimel
    Prop & Sail
    Taylor, Mi.
    P.S. My usesd car lot is growing and I have room for a salesman!!!

  29. Oh well

      Lots of questions here, one why does Irwin even care about a dead industry, he will be laid up with a respirator on before he even makes a profit off this industry again. I do give him respect for looking out for Little Falls, as I am sure it holds many memories for him, from his childhood, too his first boating endeavour. I am truly sorry for all the distress put on those at the Genmar facilities, but where was everyones concern when Sarasota shutdown? Irwin should not be held solely responsible, it was just years of bad management, a bunch of bean counters running boat companies is like asking a foot doctor to perform brain surgery. Genmar needs a whole bunch of Mike OConnell’s if they hope to get through this.
     Chip, as for the Aquasport tooling, I once heard a great plant manager state “When in doubt throw it out” (thanks Schlatt) that tooling is long gone.
       Now if you will all excuse me I have no money to pay my mortgage so I am going to let the bank foreclose on me and buy back my house at the forclosure sale for a 1/4 of what I owe on it. See I did learn something after years with Genmar.

  30. boatdr

    I dont comment on these boards normaly, But when someone is so far off baseI feel I have too.
    Randy, Gregg, Keith and the rest of the people at Ranger Boats are all first class, They were not just given those jobs because of who they were realated to, every one of them earned it. Ranger is one of the finest boat company’s I have ever had the pleasure to work with. It is unfortunate that they were caught up in the Genmar deal. I don’t think anyone in this industry was prepaired for the depth of this this “recession”. But we all have to move on.
    I for one have the utmost respect for everyone at Ranger and wish them all the best through these times.

  31. Chip

    Oh Well;
    Thanks for the info on Aquasport.  That’s too bad that the tooling is gone.  They had a few models I would have liked to try and build.  It will be interesting to see how all this Genmar stuff shakes out.  A few of the lines they had I thought were pretty good and of course there are some that I thought were on the low end.  Good luck everyone and if anyone out there is hiring, give me a shout.  Chip

  32. JCTSM

    As a dealer I’ve dealt with several manufacturers.  Most are top notch. Some I would not deal with again.  I can tell you that Randy, Keith and all the folks at Ranger are top notch.  The Ranger brand is not going anywhere.  They are too strong.  They were caught up in the Genmar crap and will be better of if Platinum will just let them run the Company.

  33. My views

    I am not a dealer or a part of the boating industry.  I am a customer.  I have owned several Ranger boats (6).  My purchases were through Ranger dealers, before and during the Genmar ownership.  What makes the Ranger brand successful is their quality products and their Ranger family of quality customer service.  Mr. Hopper is a stand-up guy.  I am sure Ranger will be successful in the future.

  34. Bassgeek

    Mr. Jacobs,My family and I would like to thank you for your 2 step buddy to management program! It was a huge success in the Murfreesboro plant. We would also like to thank you for employing the SAME management team that bankrupt the company prior to your purchasing of it. A team that had no kind of foresight and absolutely no concept of efficiency. That great fly into mentality paid off! I am grateful that Wells Fargo took my house and GMAC took my truck. You truly are a class act ;} It is with the up most respect that I and my family wish you the sum of your  ignorance.
    All the best Flippin Arkansas Plant!!!!! Continue the Ranger tradition of being the best!    Former Stratos and Champion builder

  35. Ranger fan

    I have been considering purchaseing a new ranger this year but hearing all the negetive things about warranties work not being done and all the other crap online Ive yet to hear anyone with any confidence that since ranger was sold the warranty work would be taken care of. My dealer says it will but it would be nice to hear it from ranger themselves for people to feel comfortable spending big bucks on their boats.There are alot of pissed off ranger owners wondering whats going on I know of three people that were going to buy a ranger but bought another brand because of this Im thinking of doing the same!My 2 cents.

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