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Posts Tagged ‘Bankruptcy’

GM, Rick Story and Owner, Dave Tuomisto

GM, Rick Story and Owner, Dave Tuomisto

It’s starting to look a lot like a “job-less recovery”… and the R-word continues to take a toll as bankruptcy filings nationally surged past the 1 million mark during the first nine months of 2009.  Many states have similar statistics, but in Utah the U.S. Bankruptcy Court received 10,706 bankruptcy petitions in the first nine months of this year — a 62% increase from the same time last year.

And speaking of Utah, the owner of Timpanogos Harley-Davidson (Dave Tuomisto) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month to help stall an acrimonious legal battle over millions of dollars in alleged unpaid debts to several lenders.  I previously blogged on the July 2008 opening of the mega-dealership HERE and it’s unique history after a $16 million renovation complete with green building awards.

The 6-acre complex and building was resort-like and often written about in a very positive profile that focused on Harley-Davidson’s growth strategy, branding efforts, and future opportunities.  Overall, it was a great story and a source of pride as a memorial to the Geneva Steel power plant.  For the city it was a way to talk up the merits of building green and reusing historical icons.  It was like a mini-museum and it’s very unfortunate to witness its rapid fall – again.

As the economy continued to falter, the overextended Mr. Tuomisto structured an agreement with Nu Skin founder Blake Roney (Tupelo Investments LLC) to transfer the dealership to them after getting bailout assistance to keep the dealership’s assets from being seized and shut down by Harley-Davidson Credit Corp.  Tupelo Investments LLC owns the 60,000 square-foot building and the motorcycle-themed restaurant called Marley’s. In bankruptcy court filings the list of creditors include: Harley Davidson Credit, which is owed $4.3 million; Monarch Recreation Sales is owed $760,922; Scrub Oaks is owed $400,000; the Utah State Tax Commission is owed $151,363; and millions more owed to hundreds of other businesses and individuals.

But wait, there’s more… quick to smell a deal, Joe Timmons (Owner of H-D Salt Lake, South Salt Lake) is trying to buy the building which housed Timpanogos H-D.  Likely for pennies on the dollar.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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Lawrence G. Hund

Lawrence G. Hund

H-D announced the hire (or is it re-hire?) of Lawrence G. Hund as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc. (HDFS), effective June 29.  HDFS is a wholly owned subsidiary of H-D and provides wholesale financing to dealers and retail financing to customers.

Mr. Hund comes from Tygris Commercial Finance Group, Inc. where he worked the last 8 months as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Yes, you read that correct — EIGHT months!  With over 25 years in the commercial finance industry, Mr. Hund oversaw Tygris’ treasury, accounting, tax, planning and analysis and financial operations.   The company was founded in 2008 and from background research it reads as if the company was on a hiring binge of executive talent for much of last year with specialist’s in asset based credit facilities, turnaround and bankruptcy/exit financing to mid-market companies.  In addition, Mr. Hund was hired at Tygris after only 11 months as CFO of Bridge Finance Group.  Rotating through two CFO positions in less than 19 months may not mean anything other than validation of the malaise in the credit markets.  Both companies were deep in the banking and commercial finance sector and served the automotive industries.  Lastly, Mr. Hund was CFO of HDFS from 2002 to 2007 and it’s likely he was either instrumental to the negative asset quality/performance or deeply involved in setting financial strategies which accounted for over $3 Billion in debt at HDFS and nearly $1 Billion of debt at HOG at the start of 2009.

The lingering issues with the credit market and the recessionary economy will continue to haunt HDFS.  Let’s hope that Mr. Hund can create a leading commercial finance franchise and avoid using any of his bankruptcy skills!

Photo courtesy of Tygris.

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