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Marlow is new owner of Hunter

The president and chief restructuring officer of Hunter Marine Corp. says he expects that Marlow Acquisitions LLC’s purchase of the assets of Hunter and “selected assets” of Mainship Corp. and Luhrs Corp. will close during July.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey approved the sale to Marlow July 10, and John Peterson sent a letter to Hunter dealers the next day announcing it. Marlow told Soundings Trade Only a few days later that his effort to boost the fortunes of Hunter and Mainship will begin with the builders’ assets in talent and history, “minus the onerous financial conditions that stifled creative thinking and passion for one’s handiwork.”

“As to the future, it is our intentions and mission statement to bring Hunter-Mainship fully fledged into the Marlow Group of companies, using the unique and proprietary methods that we have either developed from original thought or re-examination of the mantra, ‘We have always done it that way,’ ” Marlow says.

Commenters on Soundings Trade Only’s website expressed concern that Alachua, Fla.-based Hunter will build boats in China, but Peterson said in response that a lease for the facility in Alachua was signed between Marlow and Bank of America as part of the asset purchase agreement. “There are no plans to build any of the boats in China, though our capability in supply of custom components in virtually any material will be utilized,” Marlow says. “Areas that come to mind are supply of timber direct from the log through our own mill and to the builder. Exotic metalworking is a routine product and I expect that some components, such as hatches, ports, etc., may find their way aboard.”

Marlow went on to say that the company plans to bring the technology in advanced composites that Marlow Acquisitions developed in Asia back to America, what he called “our version of ‘reverse engineering.’ ”

“For the near term the boats will be built in the Alachua facility with an eye toward either building a new purpose-built factory or converting an existing U.S. factory suitable to take advantage of the technologies that are proprietary to Marlow,” Marlow says. “Our efforts will be directed toward environmental, community and employee-friendly processes, as we have elsewhere. We will use the joint talents of all the companies to build fine yachts at good value while providing jobs good men and women can be proud to hold.”

This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue.

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