Premier Marine Bankruptcy to Hit Workers and Suppliers Hardest


Premier Marine Files for Bankruptcy

One of the largest pontoon makers in America, Premier Marine, Inc., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from a long list of its creditors.

The Minnesota-based manufacturer has stated in its bankruptcy filing that the company has something between $10.0 million and $50.0 million in debt, of which roughly $6.5 million is owed to American Bank of the North. The total number of the company’s creditors is reported to be more than 200, but less than 1,000.

Premier Marine has cited its acquisition of another pontoon maker in 2011 as the reason behind its bankruptcy. The miscalculated acquisition caused Premier Marine to suffer hefty losses, which resulted in a severe cash crunch. Left with inadequate cash to operate or make good on its financial obligations, the company’s management team felt forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

The company’s document filed with the bankruptcy court reads, “The debtor suffered substantial losses in 2014, 2015, and 2016 attributable to the purchase and manufacture of the Palm Beach and Weeres brands in New Ulm.” Following the significant losses, Premier Marine decided to discontinue those two brands earlier this year.


Nonetheless, Premier Marine was able to secure a $2.5 million lending commitment from a creditor, which would have helped it to continue operations. However, the owner of the shipyard where Premier Marine manufactures its pontoons forced an eviction after the company failed to pay its rent. That eviction notice forced the boat manufacturer to file for bankruptcy protection.

The company now intends to restructure its business in an attempt to survive through the bankruptcy proceedings.

Premier Marine, founded in 1992, manufactures premium quality pontoons that are sold under the popular brand name “Premier Pontoons.” The company is reported to manufacture about 2,000 pontoons every year.

Premier Marine sells its boats through a network of 197 dealerships across the U.S. and Canada. Its latest annual net sales reported for the years 2015 and 2016 were over $59.5 million $58.4 million, respectively.

The company currently employs a workforce of 225 employees and purchases most of its manufacturing materials from local vendors. The company’s employees and suppliers will likely bear the brunt of the bankruptcy.


Premier Marine files for bankruptcy protection,” Trade Only Today, June 21, 2017.

Pontoon Maker Premier Marine Files for Bankruptcy,” Twin Cities Business, June 28, 2017.