Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coachmen RV Sale to Forest River Approved

The atmosphere was bittersweet at Coachmen Industries in Middlebury Friday morning as shareholders approved a $42 million sale of the company’s recreational vehicle group to rival RV manufacturer Forest River.

According to Richard Lavers, president and CEO of Coachmen Industries, more than 99 percent of company shareholders voted in favor of the deal, which essentially transfers the company’s RV business and a large majority of the RV group’s employees to Forest River.

Through the deal, Lavers indicated that Forest River will acquire all of the real estate, fixed assets and equipment used in Coachmen’s traditional RV business at its Middlebury manufacturing complex, as well as its Viking manufacturing facility in Centerville, Mich., and its Michiana Easy Livin’ Country RV dealership in Elkhart.

Forest River will also acquire all of the RV group’s finished goods, works in progress, and raw material inventory, however Lavers noted that Coachmen’s headquarters will remain in Elkhart County.

As for employees of the RV group, Lavers indicated that Forest River will offer employment to nearly all of the group’s sales staff and production workers, as well as many members of management.
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