A message from John Simmons, about the sale to Shallow Sport Boats.
My name is John Simmons, previous 100% owner of Simmons Custom Boats. I had intended to stay out of the social media assertions regarding the recent sale of my company, Simmons Custom Boats to Shallow Sport Boats. However, as the discussions progressed I have become very disturbed that the roles of Wes, Kyra and Shallow Sport Boats are being grossly mischaracterized and felt I needed to set the record straight in their behalf.
SCB was founded in 2002 and was the inspiration of Eric Simmons, my son. Eric is the creative genius behind SCB. In 2006, SCB encountered a financial crisis and I was asked to help. I agreed to purchase the molds that were by then owned by a 3rd party. The result was my 100% ownership in a new entity which came to be SCB. Eric agreed and I retained him as the production / operational manager of SCB. It was at that time I pledge personal assets to secure a line of credit from a lending institution to cover the cash flow needs of the business.
The decision to sell my company was based on several issues. Primarily, SCB has had and was continuing to have huge losses accrue which I was no longer willing to fund. Family health issues prevented me from assuming day to day management oversight. There were other major contributing issues not mentioned.
There had been discussions going back three years with the SCB management team indicating my urgent desire to sell the company. I ask them to seek out potential investor groups or individuals to partner with to buy me out. By late 2013 we had a group with whom we had reached a verbal agreement which would retain the management team with an ownership position for them. However, before the deal could be formalized the management team rejected the deal and our potential buyers withdrew their offer to purchase.
After another year and a half of more losses and periodic suggestions to continue their search, I initiated a search on my own.
During this time SCB came under scrutiny by the TCEQ for emissions issues. The remedy would require $100,000 in equipment and moving the glass shop to a much more expensive site. We had to be in compliance with TCEQ by March 31, 2016. It would have been foolish to take on more debt with the company’s financial history. I had to find a buyer by the deadline or face shut down. No other investors were brought to me.
My search for a buyer eventually led to Shallow Sport Boats. In big deals like this it is typical for all parties to be bound by nondisclosure agreements even to the existence of the deal. One deal had gotten away; I had to be sure that wouldn’t happen again. We closed on Wednesday March 30. One day before the TCEQ compliance deadline which meant that SCB was one day away from having to shut down. The sale will assure that all SCB liabilities will be paid out of the proceeds. The balance will come nowhere close to offsetting the total investment put in.
What I have tried to make clear here is that there was no intent by the buyer or the seller to do damage to or hurt anyone. Shallow Sport Boats simply saw this as an opportunity to grow their company. I saw it as a better financial option than shutting down where at least the brand will live on. This was a difficult business deal in which Wes and Kyra and Shallow Sport Boats had to adapt to the challenging circumstances presented to them and I will say they did so with complete professionalism and integrity.