Jacobs ready to do business again with suppliers

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Irwin Jacobs sent a letter to suppliers this week saying he’s looking forward to doing business with them once again, while recognizing many were hurt financially when Genmar filed for bankruptcy.

“I totally understand that there may be some reluctance as to whether or not your company may want to do business with us again,” he wrote in the letter dated Feb. 2. “I want to assure you that our new recreational boating enterprise has never been financially stronger than we are today.”

Jacobs, though his company Jacobs Trading Co., along with business partner John Paul DeJoria, recently formed J&D Acquisitions and purchased the Marquis and Carver yacht lines at auction. They later purchased Larson, Seaswirl, FinCraft and Triumph boats, and other assets, from Platinum Equity, which last month bought the majority of the former Genmar Holdings’ boat lines.

In his letter, Jacobs acknowledged it may seem odd to say his new company is financially strong, but “J&D has purchased all of their recent boat company acquisitions … for cash, as well as additionally we’ve invested several million dollars in working capital into the companies.”

He asks suppliers to offer their products at competitive prices and plans to give priority to previous Genmar suppliers offering competitive prices.

“I’ve been happily surprised as to their wanting to do business with us,” Jacobs told Soundings Trade Only this morning. “Unsolicited, we’re getting calls from other vendors in the industry who are asking to become our suppliers, who haven’t been and some that used to be asked to come back and people who cut us off during the process are asking to come back.”

Several vendors who spoke with Soundings Trade Only confirmed they will again do business with Jacobs, though some said they would do it on a cash-on-delivery basis.

Jacobs said “everything is really, really active” right now as he gets these boat lines back up and running, and said things are going better than he expected. The Little Falls, Minn., plant is booked through the third week in March, he said, and planning is under way to come out with new, innovative designs for the boat lines.

Also, he said, the company is looking at moving the Triumph line from North Carolina to an existing facility and should have a decision on that possibility in the next few weeks.

“It’s really amazing to me, from such a low I was going through in this whole process to what a high I’m going through right now,” he said. “It’s exciting to come to work again – we’re building rather than tearing down.”

For more on this story, read the March issue of Soundings Trade Only.

Click here to read Jacobs’ full letter.

— Beth Rosenberg



21 comments on “Jacobs ready to do business again with suppliers

  1. nastie

    SAME SHAME SHAME on them!!!  After what he did to them! It amazes me that charges were not brought against this man and the company’s he ran, with the fraud he perpertrated before this bankruptcy. Good luck to these vendors and shame on us as an industry.

  2. longrun

    What a Scammer. He is the ultimate con man and BS artist. He could care less about those he hurt. Once burned, twice shy. I have no respect for the man and it amazed with his calims that these vendors are flocking back to the Jacobs Temple.

  3. Terry G.

    So, the moderator would not post my comment because apparently I used too strong of language..let me try again.
    Irwim Jacobs is a crook.  I will never purchase a product manufactured by a company he owns & I will be sure to make anyone aware of his huckster business practices.
    If his new company is so financially healthy, then why are they not paying the vendors what is owed?

  4. vendor

    As a vendor who was taken for a LOT of money in the Jacob’s driven bankruptcy of Genmar, I can tell you the other vendors I have spoken with are not excited about doing business with them.  Most are planning COD, and if they ever get credit it will be very tight terms, and higher prices.  The small volume of these companies does not compare to the past Genmar numbers, so those big volume discounts are gone for sure.  As “longrun” said in his post “Once bitten, twice shy” – I also add “payback is hell.”

  5. DJ

    Why can’t the marine business be rid of this scourge? He is a detriment to anyone in the marine business, regardless of what brand you sell. His manipulation of the system effects all of us, (manufacturers, retailers, consumers) negatively in one way or the other.

  6. Disgusted

    The “dancing machine” Irwin….is alive and well….and is happy and healthy.????Too bad the vendors, and dealers he left hanging in the wind….can;t say the same thing. Hope the vendors that end up doing business with him again….understand the term COD only …if they do business with him at all.
    Think he was counting on some of these vendors being desperate enough for business…that they would turn the other cheek…and forget what has happened.

  7. A look from both sides

    Love all the armchair quarter backs who sit and tell us what irwin did wrong. Bet is not one knows the whole story but are so quick to judge. Funny, most of them have never reached nearly his level of success. Yes success. Built companies, sold companies, created jobs and had woes doing it. Seems there are a lot of people out there who have had profits from Genmar companies, but oh lets forget that. Whats Genmar going to do for me today? Its Irwin Jacobs, not Barrack Obama.  Those that step away from doing business with the man are intitled to do so I am sure. Those that decide to deal with him are free to do so also. Funny, the general public will buy the boats that are the best priced, best built and have the best warranty. They could care if they were built by aliens on another planet using child labor.
    Build a bridge, get over it.
    We need people to stay in this industry, not try to tear it apart.

  8. Terry G.

    If being successful means adopting business practices that Jacobs uses, then no thanks.  We need honorable people in the marine industry, not huckstars such as Jacobs & his ilk.  There are companies ran by honorable people…Leon Slikkers, the Kuck family, Eddie Smith & Steve Potts (to name a few) who have struggled through this economic disaster & haven’t cheated vendors out of money.  Do you know how they’ve made it, they’ve ran their companies with fiscal responsibility & treated their vendors with dignity.  They’re also debt free companies who prepared for the days when revenue from sales wouldn’t continue to go through the stratosphere.
    So no, I won’t be honoring Jacobs, Reggie or any others who run their businesses into the ground & then ask the same vendors they owe money to ”get in line & serve us as before…but…but…only if you can give me competitive prices.”  The marine industry needs leaders not hucksters. 

  9. PLJ deep south

    Irwin is the Donald Trump of the Marine business.  If I had done business in the past with him, I would give him a shot so I could try to recoup my losses over the long run.  If I had never done business with him, I would not touch that with a 10′ pole.  Nothing lost, nothing gained.  For sure, he is a piece of work, if there ever was one.

  10. Prof123

    The typical Irwin PR spin.  This should surprise no one.  I doubt anyone is “flocking” to do business with him again.  Will there be some vendors?  Of course.  Will there be other vendors who will not touch them?  Absolutely.  Just a note to anyone considering doing business with them…have you ever heard of a personal guarantee????  I would imagine that would be the beginning, middle and end of most conversations with this new group.  And if they will not guarantee it personally, maybe that’s your answer.

  11. Boat Dealer

    4000 unsecured creditors. We are one of them. It will be a cold day in hell before there’s another product represented by any of the Genmar gang on our lots.
    Lets see if and when we ever get paid for the many outstanding warranty claims they owe us.
    140,000,000 in bad debts and the judge approves 71M total sales price for Genmar and the 140,000,000 is just too bad.

  12. dave

    Of course his company is “stronger” today than ever.  Who wouldn’t want a clean slate to start over, with OPM (other people’s money).
    If that is what it takes to make it in today’s market, then let me just sit on the dock and watch the boats go by.
    He is a crook, who has been helped by the recent change in bankruptcy to a fresh start at the vendors expense.
    Vendor beware.

  13. Aaron H

    This industry is way too small for many vendors NOT to do business with the new “Genmar.” Where else are they going to get business?

  14. Klaus G.E. Baumann

    Another “Phoenix” rising from the ashes.  Virtually all boat builders have fallen victim of the sluggish economy and GENMAR was no exception.  The fact that Irwin Jacobs and his partner John Paul DeJoria is cranking up the MARQUIS production again with the recall of 100 production workers is commendable, considering that most industries are still laying off workers.  They are doing the right thing at the right time.

  15. dealer

    You vendors are crying over your own managment mistakes. Did someone hold a gun to your head and tell you you must keep shipping product while you were not paid for the previous shipment ?
    Grow up and put your big boy pants on. Look in the mirror genmar did not creat your misfortune. Genmar made you a good living for many years and only your poor management and greed can explain your current postion.
    Did we all forget who picked up the pieces when OMC went down ?
    Speaking as a genmar dealer who has made a very good living being a genmar dealer.
    Take a look around its the economy STUPID !!!

  16. Comrade Karl

    Vendors typically sell hot dogs or any product out of a cart or stand on a street corner (or on the internet) to make a quick buck who you have no relation with, but to buy something you want on the cheap & who may not be there tommarrow.
    Suppliers are (in theory ) independant business partners that support a larger organization that the larger organization respects, is honest with  & is understands that the supplier needs to make a profit to stay in business to continue to supply products that meet the expectations of the larger organization. In other words they have a mutually rewarding & respecting relationship.
    Irwin is wrong when he ask that suppliers come back to him when he actually treats & really looks at them as vendors.
    It is up to each company wheather they want to be a supplier or vendor.

  17. Ian Watson

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.  With Irwin, at least.  Moving Triumph out of NC is a foolish move.  The dealer network that is closer in geographical proximity to that plant is far larger than moving the company up north.  Unless Irwin plans to court the Canadian market again.  And, how many of Triumph’s laid off employees, a trained and dedicated workforce, were offered the opportunity to move with the company if he indeed moves it?
    Gosh, that’s a strong silence.  What, no answer, Irwin?

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