VIDEO: Platinum Equity addresses post-Genmar future

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MIAMI BEACH – “We’re not Genmar.” That was the message Platinum Equity conveyed loud and clear Thursday to a standing-room-only crowd of dealers, suppliers and industry partners at the Miami International Boat Show.

“This is a new company. We are starting fresh,” said Steve Zollo, a partner with Los Angeles-based private equity firm Platinum Equity. Platinum, he said, was not another Genmar that would sit above the brands it owned. Management at each brand will run the day-to-day operations, he said.

It’s been about two weeks since Platinum closed on the acquisition of Champion, Four Winns, Glastron, Ranger, Stratos and Wellcraft, and the industry has been waiting to hear what comes next.

“In Platinum we have a partner that understands some of the difficulties we’ve had to endure in the past few months. We’re going to come out on the other side smaller and better,” said David Huls, president and CFO of Project Boat Holdings, which will oversee Platinum’s boating interests.

Watch video from the presentation below.


Officials said the brands will honor their warranties and offer support to suppliers. Huls also stressed the business would not be run in a public forum and officials won’t make promises they can’t keep.

“We’re fully committed to being healthy again,” said Louis Samson, a partner in Platinum.

Samson said this is his company’s first foray into the marine industry, though it’s one they’ve been interested in for some time.

“We’ve been wanting to play and we’ve been looking for a platform to build around,” he said. “We’re committed to the business and to you guys. We hope for a great turnaround story.”

— Beth Rosenberg


12 comments on “VIDEO: Platinum Equity addresses post-Genmar future

  1. Doug Reimel

    It will sure be refreshing to have managment building a sound business. It is my wish for Platinum’s Project Boat become the envy of the industry in terms of product innovation and quality, customer loyalty, dealer loyalty, dealer network, sound managment that has excellent vision and great hearing.
    Quick note: If anyone is remotely deaf, Please, Please get them hearing aids and everyone involved will be successful.

  2. ex-genmar employee

    Genmarnomore is right!  The one and only Genmar company that truely made any money and kept the whole corporation afloat the past year is now gone and all of those employees that made it happen are the ones that suffer. 

  3. Lake Cumberland dealer

    The boating market in my area has taken a severe hit the last 4 years beteween the dam failure and then the economic recession wiping out manufacturers. Consumer confidence in the near future recreational marine industry is sagging  along with the disposable incomes to support it.

  4. stan

    do not let Ranger staff control their competors directly it’s going to be a mistake in the future of downsizing somebody always losess. Ranger fans will always believe they are better  just look atthe price tag!!!!!!!.yes ranger has a wide tourney following .Many STRATOS boys jumped ship cause there was no programs available to beat the competors’ programs.yes both boats are good they play to a different market somewhat.Platium equity thank you for keeping things alive but don’t let Ranger goals get in the way with a excellent boat.SORRY to the staff in tennesse hopefully home will come back

  5. ex disgruntled

    Platinum Equity should have realized that any brand line that might be of value was sought after by Irwin and his billionaire friend.  The boating market will continue to dwindle away until the economy changes and those left standing will get their market share!  Good luck!

  6. Jan Hurt

    I love the comment –
    “we’re not going to tell you what we are going to do”
    followed by the comment –
    “we’re going to do what we say we’ll do”
    So apparently whatever they do – is what they would have told us they were going to do – but they elected not to tell us – for some reason.

  7. Boat Dealer

    The big hubub about PE was their ability to offer their own floorplan to dealers. Now they’ve inked a deal with GE for exclusivity. GE has been a royal pain to deal with and not getting any better.
    Platinum, you better find a way for dealers to get affordable floorplan without having to deal with GE’s communist stance. Otherwise your product is going to sit on the back lots of the factories.
    I echo the sentiment about letting a competitor run the competition (Ranger, Stratos, Champion). Bad, bad decision.

  8. ex disgruntled

    Dave Huls – same names…different positions.  I guess Genmar will always be in the background no matter where you look!

  9. rick jolly

    Why do new owners of boat companies leave the previous managers in place.  What happened to the saying “A new broom sweeps clean”.?

  10. ExRangerSalesGuy

    I’ve got an answer for all of this… How about supporting small independent boat manufacturers. I was a sales manager for a very large Ranger dealer in the midwest and have since started a small dealership selling Legend Boats. These small manufacturers appreciate your business and are willing to support their dealers. What a refreshing approach! I figured getting customers to look at their products would be difficult, but I have been amazed by our customers responses. I’m tired of just selling a name and am very excited about selling a very high quality product.

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