Genmar files for bankruptcy protection in the US

Builder of brands such as Carver, Four Winns and Glastron hits the wall after seeing credit lines dry up

Genmar, the second-largest boatbuilder in the US, has filed for bankruptcy protection after seeing its credit lines dry up.

The builder, producer of well-known brands such as Carver, Four Winns, Larson and Glastron, is based in Minneapolis, where the bankruptcy petition was filed yesterday.

The company’s chairman, Irwin Jacobs, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “If someone would have said to me as recently as even one month ago than Genmar would someday be filing for Chapter 11, I would have said it was not even a remote possibility.

“Despite restructuring steps and infusion of significant equity, the bank reduced [credit] availability. The bank rejected all? proposals for making adequate capital available and continued to reduce the borrowing base.”

The company has slashed its workforce over the last 18 months from around 4500 to 1500, while the number of its dealers has declined 20%. Jacobs told the paper that another 30% of the dealers “are just hanging on”.

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The restructuring of the company that will now take place will no doubt be painful, but Jacobs said he was confident Genmar emerge successfully from bankruptcy proceedings.