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Platinum begins its ‘turnaround story’

"We're not Genmar." That was the message Platinum Equity, the group that purchased the bulk of Genmar Holdings' assets, conveyed loud and clear 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," says Steve Zollo, a partner with the Los Angeles-based equity firm. Management at each brand will run day-to-day operations, he says.

Platinum now owns Champion, Four Winns, Glastron, Ranger, Stratos and Wellcraft, and the industry was eager to learn what comes next. "In Platinum we have a partner that understands some of the difficulties we've had to endure," says David Huls, president and CFO of Project Boat Holdings, which will oversee Platinum's boating interests. "We're going to come out on the other side smaller and better."

Officials say the brands will honor their warranties and offer support to suppliers. "We're fully committed to being healthy again," says Louis Samson, a Platinum partner.

Samson says this is his company's first foray into the marine industry, though it's one they've been interested in for some time. "We're committed to the business and to you guys. We hope for a great turnaround story."

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