MIAMI BEACH - "We're not Genmar." That was the message Platinum Equity conveyed loud and clear Thursday 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," said Steve Zollo, a partner with Los Angeles-based private equity firm Platinum Equity. Platinum, he said, was not another Genmar that would sit above the brands it owned. Management at each brand will run the day-to-day operations, he said.
It's been about two weeks since Platinum closed on the acquisition of Champion, Four Winns, Glastron, Ranger, Stratos and Wellcraft, and the industry has been waiting to hear what comes next.
"In Platinum we have a partner that understands some of the difficulties we've had to endure in the past few months. We're going to come out on the other side smaller and better," said David Huls, president and CFO of Project Boat Holdings, which will oversee Platinum's boating interests.
Watch video from the presentation below.
Officials said the brands will honor their warranties and offer support to suppliers. Huls also stressed the business would not be run in a public forum and officials won't make promises they can't keep.
"We're fully committed to being healthy again," said Louis Samson, a partner in Platinum.
Samson said this is his company's first foray into the marine industry, though it's one they've been interested in for some time.
"We've been wanting to play and we've been looking for a platform to build around," he said. "We're committed to the business and to you guys. We hope for a great turnaround story."
— Beth Rosenberg