Dealers still face uncertainty after Genmar sale

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Although the auction is over for the assets of Genmar Holdings, uncertainty remains for thousands of unsecured creditors, dealers and former or current employees.

On Friday it was announced that California-based Platinum Equity had purchased the majority of Genmar Holdings' assets for $70 million. Carver and Marquis were purchased for $6.05 million by J&D Acquisitions LLC, a company created by Genmar founder Irwin Jacobs, along with John Paul DeJoria.

MCBC Hydra Boats, a subsidiary of Wayzata Investment Partners, purchased Hydra-Sports for $1 million.

A court hearing to approve the sale is set for Wednesday, with the closing set for Jan. 20.

However, Jacobs told Soundings Trade Only he planned to purchase certain assets back from Platinum Equity after the court hearing, including the Larson brand and its factory, FinCraft, Triumph and Seaswirl.

"I don't think [the news] helped the welfare or the well-being or the mindset of any dealers anywhere," Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America, told Soundings Trade Only this morning. "Now we know who's going to own parts of it, but we don't know any more than what we did two weeks ago about what's going to happen."

Keeter said he'd already talked with two dealers who were giving up on Genmar brands and moving to other boat lines after the news broke.

Steve Grams, a Larson, Glastron, Seaswirl and FinCraft warranty rep in Little Falls, Minn., for the last 13 years, was laid off last September for what was supposed to be two to three weeks and is still out of work.

"It looks as though the saga is not over for me and others in Little Falls as Mr. Jacobs states that he intends to try to purchase the Little Falls operation from the high bidder. I hope he is successful in that endeavor," Grams said.

"It should be mentioned to all that in the Little Falls area there has never been anyone in the entire world that has invested more of his own personal fortune into the local economy than Irwin Jacobs, and I, for one, hope that this continues," he added.

There are an estimated 4,000 unsecured creditors in this case, according to Unsecured Creditors Committee chairman Gary Potter, general manager of EZ Loader Boat Trailers.

With the total sale price adding to approximately $77 million, it's unclear if any money would be available for the unsecured creditors on the case.

Potter could not be reached for comment this morning.

"I think all this did was show that the secured creditors are going to get far less than what they're owed," Keeter said.

- Beth Rosenberg

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