Baja Marine acquires Donzi, Fountain, Pro-Line

Posted on Written by Michael LaBella

Baja Marine announced it officially acquired the assets of boat companies Donzi Marine, Fountain Powerboats and Pro-Line Boats from American Marine Holdings Inc.

The company has been in discussions to purchase its sister brands after a long and drawn-out court battle and two Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in two years.

All four brands — Baja, Donzi, Fountain and Pro-Line — will operate as independent entities. They will be based at the Baja Marine facility on Whichards Beach Road in Washington, N.C.

The acquisition was prompted by ongoing demand by customers and marine dealers for new boats from Donzi, Fountain and Pro-Line since American Marine Holdings suspended production of these brands in 2011, according to Baja Marine CEO Johnny Walker. “We’ve been getting calls on a daily basis,” Walker said in a statement.

In mid-August, the company began building the 247 Islander, 26 Outlaw, 278 Performance and 30 Outlaw models, and more recently added the 277 Islander and 35 Outlaw models for 2013.

Walker announced that plans were being formulated to relaunch the other three brands in 2013.

“We are excited to get these brands back in production. They are the most recognized names in the marine industry,” Walker said. “We currently are building Baja Boats with a staff of people with over 700 years of performance boat experience, and they look forward to the other three brands coming back into production.

“We are eagerly anticipating the world debut of the new Baja 30 Outlaw GT at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show next week. After that, we will start working on designs for updated and upgraded Donzi, Fountain and Pro-Line models for next year,” Walker continued. “It’s great to have all of the brands back together under the same roof.”

Fountain Powerboats, along with numerous other affiliated parties, filed Chapter 11 papers Jan. 18 for the second time in less than three years. The filing was recorded with the bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach, where a federal judge threw it out and sent it back to the North Carolina courts.

In the second filing, Fountain listed more than $53 million in liabilities and less than $50,000 in assets, according to court documents. A total of $53.6 million was owed to lender First Capital.

“A receiver was appointed last winter and did put Baja into bankruptcy,” Walker said in his statement. “However, the court dismissed it as an improper filing. The bankruptcy court judge ruled that the receiver did not have the authority to put Baja in bankruptcy. It’s a complicated process, but Baja has gone back to its former ownership.”

Baja Marine then went back to Liberty to hash out a deal to get all companies again under one roof, Walker said.

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Comments

14 comments on “Baja Marine acquires Donzi, Fountain, Pro-Line

  1. john ennis

    Mobey talks and B.S walks. So far I can”t see where the “revival ” money is coming from. Given the bankruptcy fiasco I hope they can pull it off but I am not walking down this path without seeing where I place my feet.

  2. Old Boat Builder

    Let’s see, Fountain, when it declared bankruptcy, listed 53 million in liabilities and only 55 K in assets.
    Yet, they are now starting up production in a multi million dollar plant in Washington, NC. Wonder who owned the plant when they declared bankruptcy? Just another can of worms going into bankruptcy in another six months.

  3. Boat guy

    The Marine Industry has seen many of companies emerge from bankruptcy more than once. It takes more than a name to be successful. It takes a lot of money to build boats and be successful. There are too many boat manufactures and boats being produced for the demand. As much as I would hate to see the brands go away, sometimes it better to let a company die a graceful death rather than trying to revive it again.

  4. Certifiedmarinetransport

    Who in their right mind ,would spend their hard earned money on a company who can’t keep the doors open for even warranty work.

  5. Les Ares

    Best of Luck to the new Baja Marine group and its great heritage of boat brands. Good to see boat manufacturing returning in the USA. If it can happens to the car industry it can happen to the boat industry. All the best!

  6. Jim

    As a past Baja dealer, given the amount of lawsuits they always seem to be involved with, I would have to take a pass on this. It had a great heritage, but the last couple of years have been harsh for it.

  7. Mike Carrigan, Sr

    I must be missing something.
    Johnny Walker and group are the guys who prevented the BK from taking place.
    They got it thrown out.
    They stopped it.
    These are the guys who prevented the vendors or anyone else from getting screwed.
    These are the guys committed to saving the four brands.
    These are the guys putting people back to work.

    And they get beat up by some?

    The logic of some escapes me.

    I think they’re the good guys.

    I think it’s great news.

  8. Jim

    Mike,

    You are wrong about the creditors, dig deeper, what you think is not correct. These companies are no better off, the debt is still there, do you think these guys out of the goodness of their hearts are going pay creditors for what they believe is not their problem? Talk to what’s left of emPloyees and you hear a totally different story.
    Baja was a great brand, but all the bad press over the last 3 years has hurt it.
    Let’s see how good the product looks at Ft. Lauderdale and if anybody buys it.

  9. Russell

    Four of the finest boats ever produced under one roof. Now that is great news. There is a market for the superior high preformance boat. The retail market is now becoming into a period of pent up buyers that want just this kind vessel. Thank goodness many of the crap look alike boat producers have gone to the wayside. Some one at Baja Marine is a lot smarter than you give him credit for. Don’t listen to the short sighted naysayer’s that lack the fortitude to step out of the box. We also thank you for producing this product in North Carolina. Good job Folks……

  10. Mike Carrigan, Sr.

    Actually Jim I am aquainted wth more than a few employee’s and have known some for well over twenty years. I do have an opinion as to what some folks feel as to the matter.
    There is no question, no doubt at all, JW and his people have a rough road ahead. It aint gonna be no walk in the park for certain.
    They had four Baja’s in the water at Lauderdale. I never made it down to the water, didn’t see the product and dont know the results nor how the product was recieved.
    I did have a very pleasent conversation with Johnny Walker and I’m totally convinced these guys are going to fight it out and survive the four brands.
    I wish them all the very best.

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