Jacobs & Billionaire Friend Buy Carver & Marquis - 01/27/2010

Last week it was announced that J&D Acquisitions, LLC had bought the Carver Yacht and Marquis Yacht companies from the bankruptcy estate of Genmar Holdings, Inc. (Genmar). The new company will go forward as Marquis Yachts, LLC. Together the two brands have 20 models ranging from 36’ to 72’. Irwin Jacobs and his friend, John Paul DeJoria, who according to Forbes magazines is the #65th richest person in America, formed J&D Acquisitions LLC to make the purchase and paid $6.05 million for the two companies. Jacobs says that the company plans to begin hiring 200 staff within two weeks and that the new company will honor all pre-Chapter 11 warranties.

Carver and Marquis yachts are built in two different factories both located in Pulaski, Wisconsin and the new company plans to stay in the same facility and rehire former employees. Genmar had owned Carver for 19 years and had started the Marquis brand six years ago. At one time the Genmar Pulaski factories employed 1,180 people.

Irwin Jacobs said, “I’m convinced that the worst is now behind us. Dealer inventory levels for both Carver and Marquis are at historically low levels throughout the world, which gives me great optimism that we should begin receiving several new orders for both Carver and Marquis Yachts from our dealers throughout the world.”

Carver Marquis
Irwin Jacobs has been a life-long boater and cares about boat design and construction details.

See interview about his early experiences...

Same Top Management

Jacobs told BoatTEST.com on Monday that he would not be running the boat companies the way he did before. Each boat company will be run by their own management, he said. “Bob Van will be running Marquis and Carver,” Jacobs said.

Robert Van Grunsven – who is known in the boating industry as “Bob Van” -- has been with Carver and Marquis for more than 34 years. He was President of Carver/Marquis for a number of years before the Bankruptcy. Van Grunsven said, “I have already received numerous inquires from many of our valued Carver and Marquis dealers throughout the world asking how soon we will be able to begin building the yachts from our facility in Pulaski, Wisconsin. Our plans are to begin production within the next two weeks and we plan on shipping our first newly-completed vessels in early April 2010.”

Carver Marquis
John Paul DeJoria is worth $4 billion according to Forbes magazine and he is Jacobs’ partner in Marquis and Carver boat building operations.

Jacobs’ New Partner

Irwin Jacobs’ partner in J&D Acquisitions LLC is one of the most charismatic and high-energy personalities to hit the boat business in recent memory. DeJoria, 65, has an incredible rags to riches story that is right out of the movies, and in fact, DeJoria made a cameo appearance in a movie about his former business partner in the movie You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, a 2008 comedy.

He made his first fortune in hair care products and quickly branched out into other ventures such as Patrón tequila. He is reported to have been one of the founders of the House of Blues, and has interests in Pyrat rum, Ultimat vodka, Solar Utility, Sun King Solar, Touchstone Natural Gas, among other investments. He is also a philanthropist who is best known for his work in Africa to help remove land mines.

DeJoria is listed by Forbes magazine as the 65th richest person in America, and the 261st richest in the world. Six months ago he bought a Four Winns boat. He did a stint in the U.S. Navy, according to Internet sources.

From the 2009 Forbes 400 Richest Bio. #65 John Paul DeJoria --

“Recession not killing Navy vet's buzz; sales of his Patrón tequila up nearly 10% so far this year. Made first fortune from shampoo. Cofounded hair-care outfit John Paul Mitchell Systems with Paul Mitchell in 1980 with $700; lived in car, hawked products door-to-door in Los Angeles. Annual sales now approach $900 million, sells only to professional salons. Created tequila distiller Patrón Spirits with Martin Crowley (d. 2003) in 1989. Friends Clint Eastwood and Wolfgang Puck helped make $50 bottles of tequila a staple at high-end restaurants, nightclubs. Today company sells more than 2 million cases a year. Bacardi bought minority stake in Patrón for undisclosed sum last year. Giving more to charity as others decrease gifts; supports Food4Africa, Mineseekers, Blazer House.”

We find it interesting that both Jacobs and DeJoria both have rags to riches stories. We’re told that Dejoria, who Jacobs has known for several years, bought a Four Winns six months ago.

Carver Marquis
The Marquis 42SC was an exciting breath of fresh air that captured the imagination of boaters world-wide.

The Future of Marquis and Carver

While the new company will be called Marquis LLC, both the Carver and the Marquis brands will continue on as separate boat lines has they had been before the Bankruptcy, accord to Jacobs.

“We will honor all of the pre-bankruptcy warranties with our current dealers,” he said to BoatTEST.com on Monday but did not share any other going-forward plans.


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