Court documents in the Christensen case reveal that its receiver wants to sell “substantially all” of the assets to investor Henry Luken for US$5.5m. Luken owns 50% of the company.
According to a story in The Columbian, the court-appointed receiver, Miles Stover, said selling the assets to Luken would let the shipyard continue operations and avoid liquidation. After being shuttered in February, Stover last week restored operations. He has rehired more than 70 employees. At its peak, the yard had about 450 workers.
Superior Court Judge Gregory Gonzalez ordered that Ocean Alexander, which had contracted with Christensen to build its 125ft megayacht series, could remove two unfinished hulls from the property. Ocean Alexander said in a court filing that it had advanced more than US$6m to Christensen for these two hulls. That, the Taiwan-based brand said, was over 46% of the contract price and “well in excess of the progress on the construction of the yachts.”
Stover told the court that, after being appointed receiver in March, he uncovered “a financial mess” at Christensen. Stover said his investigation “revealed books of records that indicate a history of very weak internal controls, a general lack of segregation of duties, and non-adherence to generally accepted accounting principles.”
In court documents, Stover said that selling the assets to a buyer who would operate Christensen as a going concern would provide the “highest and best return” to creditors.
Under the terms, Luken would have control of contracts for the completion of hulls 36, 38 and 40. Luken would also control Christensen’s land lease.
According to the story, Stover wrote that he has been approached by other parties about buying Christensen’s assets, but no other party has made a firm offer. Judge Gonzalez is expected to decide on the proposal to sell the assets to Luken on June 19. The deal, if it goes ahead, could close no later than June 30.