The financially troubled Christensen Shipyards, based in Vancouver, WA, now faces a total of five lawsuits, apparently spelling the end of the manufacturer of luxury yachts in its current format. The latest to file against the yard is Henry Luken, the Tennessee businessman who has 50% interest in the yard.
Earlier in March, Luken and Christensen Financing LLC, apparently a current or former Luken affiliate, filed a suit asking a Clark Country Superior Court judge to appoint a receive to assume control of Christensen Shipyards and to manage its assets. The suit indicates that a receiver would ensure that partially completed bots, including two purchases in different deals by Luken and Christensen Financing, would be completed. The receiver would also have the power to sell and to negotiate with Christensen customers. In the suit, Luken and Christensen Financing say the shipyard is currently insolvent, not paying tis debts as they become due or is in imminent danger of insolvency. Christensen Shipyards admitted to this state of finances in response to the complaint.
This latest suit joins four other legal actions that have been lodged against Christensen Shipyard since it shut its doors in early February. Christensen is pushing back against this latest suit, claiming that Luken has “unclean hands” because he owns half of the shipyard, is a board member and has owned or controlled Christensen financing. According to a filing by Portland law firm Field Jerger, Luken used his control and influence to arrange for the Christensen Shipyards to sell 164-foot yachts to himself and Christensen Financing at less than cost.
Court documents also indicate that Christensen President Joe Foggia, who along with Luke and founder Dave Christensen serves as a board member, has worked on a deal to sell the company to a competitor, Westport Yachts of Florida. The arrangement calls for Westport to purchase the shipyard and real estate owned by Christensen Group Inc., a company affiliated with Dave Christensen that leases facilities to Christensen Shipyards. Foggia has indicated that Westport would complete unfinished yachts, rehire workers and continue operations.
Foggia also indicates in court documents that he believe Luken wants to finish the two boats at below-market costs and then acquire the Christensen name to continue with his own personal yacht business at Christensen Inlet in Tennessee.
Other plaintiffs against Christensen Shipyards include Stellar Industrial Supply, whose officials say that general support the appointment of a receiver. Stellar Industrial Supply officials believe that Christensen has been mismanaged and that its leaders are deadlocked over how to manage the company’s affairs. Washington Manufacturing Services, operating as Impact Washington, Composites One LLC and Ferguson Enterprises Inc. have also filed suit against Christensen Shipyards.
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