Genmar Holdings Inc. has landed in bankruptcy court, the result of difficult business conditions in the recreational boat sector.
The Minneapolis company filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on June 1.
Irwin Jacobs, Genmar's founder, chairman and CEO, compared the recent sales slowdown and credit crunch to earlier troublesome times during his three decades in the boating industry.
Those conditions do not even remotely resemble anything close to what has taken place in the retail and wholesale recreational boating industry over the past approximately 12 months, Jacobs said in a statement.
The Chapter 11 petition listed assets of $237.5 million and liabilities of $216.5 million while excluding more than $400 million in intangible assets.
The bankruptcy filing surprised observers and represents a dramatic turn of fortune for Genmar.
In November 2007, Forbes magazine ranked Genmar at 392 on its list of America's largest private companies, with 5,000 employees and annual sales of $1.1 billion. Now, Genmar employs about 1,500 and runs five plants, down from more than a dozen. Sales for the fiscal year ending June 30 are projected at $460 million.
Jacobs owns about 40 percent of Genmar stock, and the family of the late Carl Pohlad owns about 15 percent.
In 2003, Genmar touted the capability of its Virtual-Engineered-Composites technology to manufacture closed-mold fiber- reinforced-plastic products faster than traditional fiberglass ones and to do so without paint, gel coats or styrene emissions. Genmar subsidiary VEC Technology Inc. was among the entities filing for bankruptcy protection.
Genmar boat brands include Carver, Champion, FinCraft, Four Winns, Glastron, Hydra-Sports, Larson, Marquis, Ranger, Scarab, Seaswirl, Stratos, Triumph, Wellcraft and Windsor Craft.