MEXICO, Mo. — Former Bentley Industries president Steve Deese is returning to the pontoon market with a new company, Encore Boat Builders, and has entered into an agreement to lease a former Bentley plant in Missouri, according to a report in the Mexico Ledger.
Deese went before the Mexico City Council on Tuesday to ask for lease terms and conditions similar to those offered to Bentley, which the council agreed to do.
In January, Bentley had turned its operation over to Mercury Marine, a secured creditor of Bentley, but Mercury later defaulted and had its lease terminated by the city.
"Allowing Encore Boat Builders to lease the property at the same terms and conditions as Bentley Industries benefits the city by allowing the debt (of back rent and other expenses) to be paid by a company that has relocated to Mexico and will create jobs for the community," Todd Thompson, Mexico City Manager, said in the Ledger article.
The paper reports that Encore Boat Builders has completed the purchase of the inventory, equipment, fixtures and leasehold improvement from Mercury.
"It's good to be back. We're looking forward to rebuilding the third largest boat manufacturing company in the U.S., and hope it helps change the economy," Deese said. "We've purchased all the assets from Mercury and are ready to start production."
Encore plans to start with a dozen employees and eventually rehire workers who want their former jobs back, according to the Ledger. Also, the company has moved its dealer meeting to October when it will unveil its newest line, the Bentley Encore.
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