NEWS - US Marine Giant Genmar Holdings Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

By: David Lockwood, Photography by: David Lockwood

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The American marine industry is reeling after one of its iconic multinational boatbuilders and former outboard manufacturer, Genmar Holdings, filed for bankruptcy protection, the Star Tribune, a Minnesota-based newspaper, reports today...

NEWS - US Marine Giant Genmar Holdings Seeks Bankruptcy Protection
NEWS - US Marine Giant Genmar Holding Seeks Bankruptcy Protection
But Genmar has been a marine entity in decline for some time.

Genmar describes itself as a unique collection of America's top brands in recreational boating. Founder Irwin L. Jacobs, who is said to have a passion for family boating and fishing, acquired his first boat company in 1978.

The company grew steadily through acquisitions (ironically of many bankrupt boatbuilders) to become a dominant player in the marine industry.

One of the world's largest builders of recreational boats, Genmar grew by acquiring leading brands with lines ranging from family runabouts to luxury yachts, and virtually everything in between.

Its 13 boat brands at the time of filing for bankruptcy protection included Ranger, Triumph, SeaSwirl, Hydra-Sports, Champion, Stratos, Larson, Wellcraft, Marquis, Windsor Craft, Carver, Glastron and Four Winns, the latter having a decent presence Down Under.

But previously it was a greater strength.

Genmar sold Hatteras Yachts in 2001 to Brunswick Corporation for a reported figure of US$80 million. And earlier, in the same year. At the same time, Brunswick Marine acquired Genmar’s boat brands.

Tough times have eroded Genmar's sales again and the company has now filed for Chapter 11 petition in the US Bankruptcy Court in St Paul. It listed assets of US$237.5 million and liabilities of US$216.5 million.

Genmar has more than 1,000 dealers across America, but that's about 20 percent fewer than it had in early 2008. It’s predicted the multinational will go out of business in the coming months.

Apparently, 30 percent of Genmar's dealers are just hanging on. As dealers have gone out of business, more repossessed boats have flooded the market, depressing profits.


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