Platinum Equity plans for future of Genmar assets

LOS ANGELES — Platinum Equity has completed the acquisition of several boat brands and related assets from Genmar Holdings, according to a release from the company.

The acquisition includes the Ranger, Stratos, Champion, Wellcraft, Four Winns and Glastron boat brands; manufacturing facilities and related operations in Flippin, Ark., Cadillac, Mich., and Murfreesboro, Tenn.; and certain transportation equipment and other real estate assets.

“Each of the brands we acquired has a rich heritage, a strong and loyal customer base, and significant opportunities to grow following very challenging times throughout the boating industry,” Louis Samson, the principal at Platinum leading the investment, said in the release. “Platinum has a strong track record of supporting companies through difficult transitions and we look forward to putting each of these brands on a path toward long-term growth and profitability.”

A transition is now underway that will establish Platinum’s new portfolio of former Genmar brands as a standalone business under a new corporate name, according to Platinum Equity. Details about the new corporate identity will be announced as the process unfolds.

Leadership positions announced

Platinum has appointed David Huls as president and chief financial officer of the new consolidated corporate holding company. Huls was previously senior vice president and CFO of Genmar Holdings and had been with the company for more than five years.

Platinum also announced the executives who will lead the various brand operations.

Randy Hopper will continue to serve as president of Wood Manufacturing, a position he has held for more than 20 years, and will oversee Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats and Champion. Wood Manufacturing will be managed independently from the other brands.

Jeff Olson will continue to serve as president of Four Winns and Wellcraft, and Mike O’Connell has been appointed to the newly created position of president of Glastron Boats.

In addition, Platinum confirmed that it completed the acquisition of other assets from Genmar and in turn sold those assets to J&D Acquisitions, which is controlled by Irwin Jacobs and Jean-Paul Dejoria.

The assets acquired and then sold to J&D include: Larson, Seaswirl and FinCraft boat brands, as well as the Little Falls, Minn., manufacturing facility that builds those brands; the Seaswirl manufacturing facility in Culver, Ore., and all of its related assets; VEC Technology, LLC, located in Greenville, Penn.; the Triumph boat brand and related assets; and the Windsor Craft boat brand and related assets.

“We are very pleased that our negotiations with Irwin and his team culminated in this transaction,” Samson said in the release. “It was a quick and efficient process between parties who share a mutual respect. We strongly believe J&D is the most logical owner for these assets. Irwin has a true passion for the boating industry and a tremendous loyalty to the Little Falls facility, its people and the entire community. This arrangement will keep the Little Falls facility up and running and will protect jobs for hundreds of people who otherwise may have lost their livelihood. We are proud to have played a part in reaching this solution.”

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