Brunswick bids on bankrupt dealer chain

REDMOND, Calif. – Boating industry giant Brunswick Corp. may be getting into the boat retail business, according to an article today in the Seattle Times.

No, it’s not putting in an offer to buy MarineMax, the boat retail chain often assumed to be its largest boat customer. In fact, the boat building firm has submitted a $48-million offer to buy the bankrupt Olympic Boat Centers – a major customer with 21 dealerships in California, Washington and British Columbia – according to the newspaper. Brunswick currently owns 12 percent of OBC Holdings, Olympic Boat Centers’ parent company.

While the dealerships remain in business, OBC Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-July, claiming assets between $10 million and $50 million and debts between $50 million and $100 million.

David Shemano, the attorney for Olympic’s unsecured creditors, told the newspaper that the offer is “less than adequate.” It would provide $47 million to GE Commercial Distribution Finance, a secured creditor. That leaves less than $1 million to pay for bankruptcy costs and to be split amongst the unsecured creditors, according to the newspaper.

Shemano said he expects the auction of Olympic's assets to be scheduled for Sept. 23.

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