Genmar selects stalking-horse bidder

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Genmar Holdings, Inc. has selected Platinum Equity, Beverly Hills, Calif., as the “stalking-horse” bidder for an auction process of Genmar’s assets, to be conducted on Jan. 7, 2010, subject to Bankruptcy Court approval, the boat building firm reported in a statement this morning.

“Platinum entered into a definitive agreement, in which it will acquire a substantial portion of Genmar’s assets, subject to being the highest bidder in accordance with the bid procedures and the auction process established in Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code,” said Mark W. Sheffert, Genmar’s chief restructuring officer and chairman and CEO of Manchester Companies, Inc.

“Specifically, should Platinum prevail in the auction process, it will acquire all of the assets of Ranger, Stratos, Champion, Wellcraft, Four Winns, Larson and Glastron boats, as well as a number of manufacturing facilities and related assets,” he added. “We are pleased to have a firm of Platinum’s resources and reputation taking the lead in the auction process.”

Platinum Equity specializes in providing “divestiture solutions” to a diverse range of firms, including many global Fortune 500 companies, according to its Web site,

“We focus on business continuity as one of the most critical measures of a successful transition,” the company explains on its Web site. “We consider all of the stakeholders involved and take measures to ensure uninterrupted customer service, minimal employee uncertainty, and preservation of the seller’s brand reputation. Our ability to maintain business continuity through transition is what allows us to pursue deals that pure financial buyers might forego.”

Platinum Equity also emphasizes that while it provides “strategic oversight,” a key part of its strategy involves creating an environment in which the “company management team operates independently, making decisions based on their knowledge of the market, customers, and competitors.”

On June 1, 2009, Genmar and certain of its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Over the last several weeks, Genmar has been aggressively pursuing a sale process, which culminated in Genmar’s selection of Platinum as its stalking-horse and the definitive agreement entered into Nov. 27, the company explained.

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