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Marlow signs Hunter lease for Florida facility

In response to concerns that Hunter Marine will begin manufacturing in China after its sale to Marlow Acquisitions LLC, president John Peterson and new owner David Marlow have spoken out.

“As part of the [asset purchase agreement] a lease for the facility in Alachua [Fla.] was signed between Marlow and Bank of America,” said Peterson, responding online to comments posted in response to Thursday’s Trade Only Today story about the acquisition.

There are no plans to build boats in China, but rather to take technology Marlow developed there and bring it back to the United States, Marlow said, also responding online to posted comments. However, an additional or another plant might be purchased in the future at a location that has not been determined, Marlow said.

Similar to the judge at U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, who told Peterson he was impressed by the speed with which the restructuring had occurred, Marlow praised Peterson and the staff at Hunter Marine, calling the effort a “world record.”

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a fine group at Hunter Marine headed by John Peterson in a round-the-clock effort to save good and decent companies from the ash heap of history,” Marlow said at TradeOnlyToday.com.

“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 said. “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 USA factory suitable to take advantage of the technologies that are proprietary to Marlow,” Marlow said. “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.”

“The location of the USA factory to be bought or built for future production is not yet determined, as the schedule to accomplish the exit of Hunter, Mainship and Luhrs from bankruptcy required cooperation and diligence by all, executed in what must be a world record exit for such legal procedures,” Marlow said. “I am grateful to the Hunter team and pleased that it is poised to begin the next 40 years.”

“Marlow will invest capital and other resources as needed to bring Hunter, Mainship to the top of the industry using existing talent and those who wish to join us with commitment and use of all the tools humans hold,” he said. “We intend to use our heads, our hands and our hearts to accomplish the goals.”

The court approved the sale of the operating assets of Hunter Marine Corp. late Tuesday night and “selected assets” of Mainship Corp. and Luhrs Corp. to Marlow Acquisitions LLC, according to a letter the company sent Wednesday to Hunter dealers.

The letter was sent to Soundings Trade Only by Peterson, who is also Hunter’s chief restructuring officer.

Click here for the letter.

Reagan Haynes

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