There had been warning signs since before the new year, when in December Christensen announced it was, “working on a multipart ownership restructure.” Word on the docks at the Miami International boat show, just after Christensen’s February closure, ranged from the worst case scenario to that it was all just a temporary cash flow issue and the yard would be reopening once stakeholders agreed to new terms.
Christensen Shipyards’ most recent launch Missing Link
But now one of those stakeholders, co-owner Henry Luken, has joined in the ranks of those filing suit against the builder. The Vancouver, Washington-based builder faces five lawsuits filed since 12 February, including the most recent levied by Henry Luken.
The joint suit filed by Henry Luken and Christensen Financing LLC, a company affiliated with Henry Luken, requested that a judge appoint a receivership to take control of the builder’s operations and assets. This includes two partially completed yachts, which each belong to Henry Luken and Chirstensen Financing, respectively. The suit also stipulated that the receiver could work with Christensen’s current customers, rehire workers and ensure the partially completed projects are completed.
Christensen responded to Henry Luken’s suit accusing Luken of having “unclean hands” as he owns 50 per cent of company, is a board member and owned or controlled Christensen Financing. The response also alleges that Henry Luken “used his control and influence” to arrange the purchase of 50 metre superyachts for himself and Christensen financing for less than cost.
At the same time, Christensen President and board member Joe Foggia, says he’s working on a deal to sell the company to Westport Yachts.
This deal would see Westport purchasing Christensen Shipyards and any real estate owned by Christensen Group Inc. According to Joe Foggia, Westport would then be tasked with completing the unfinished yachts, rehiring workers and continuing operations.
Another party suing the company, Stellar Industrial Supply, said in court documents that it supported the call to appoint a receiver, but wanted this receiver to have broad powers and be able to take control of the wayward shipyard. According to Stellar, this arrangement would benefit all parties and not just Luken and his interests.