Three offers on the table
The high-end catamaran yard Gunboat, founded in the 2000s by Peter Johnstone of the J-boats founder family, and known for its foil cruising catamaran had been placed under Chapter 11 protection on 18 November 2015. In accordance with US bankruptcy law, the company was put up for auction. The buyers had until 15 April 2016 to make themselves known. The candidates were made public yesterday, Monday, April 19. According to Xavier Desmarest, owner of Grand Large Yachting, three offers of a similar amount have been submitted:
- The French Grand Large Yachting, first reference offer at $500,000.
- Hudson Wang from Hudson Yacht & Marine, another catamaran specialist (HH catamarans, Hudson Powercat...)
- An unknown investor in the sector
A development objective across the Atlantic
For Grand Large Yachting, with the Outremer brand, the aim of the takeover would be twofold according to Xavier Desmarest:
- Put a foot on the American market and develop the group as a whole on the territory. In the project, shipyard, moulds and production would remain in North Carolina, one of the cradles of the US nautical industry, unlike the Asian project.
- Take over a luxury catamaran brand, established in a niche sector, consistent with the Grand Large Yachting policy.
Hearing and response scheduled for April 25, 2016
The various potential buyers will meet with the judge on Monday 25 April 2016 to adjust and negotiate the offers. Each of the actors will be able to make their financial and technical proposals evolve, before the final decision by the magistrate. Xavier Desmarest will go there to defend the French bid until the end.