by Jason Epperson
Thor Industries announced early Monday morning that it is in the process of renegotiating a deal to acquire the international RV manufacturer Erwin Hymer Group (EHG), dropping the Erwin Hymer North America subsidiary from the deal. Erwin Hymer North America Manufactures the Hymer and Roadtrek nameplates, amongst others.
The news comes after a shocking-yet-unconfirmed report that the top three executives in the North America division conspired to embezzle upword of $100 million by falsifying orders.
The news could spell disaster from the Class B flagship Roadtrek nameplate, as Erwin Hymer North America may become a company without the massive global parent to save it from itself. It’s still a prized asset, so in theory, it may be spun off to another buyer or in a bankruptcy liquidation.
The combination of Thor and EHG will create the world’s largest RV manufacturer. Thor noted that it has received all regulatory approvals, and expects that its purchase of EHG will be completed within the company’s third quarter.
The European Erwin Hymer Group purchased Roadtrek — a brand largely responsible for the existence of the booming Class B RV market in the U.S. — in 2016 as a strategic acquisition to allow the company to enter the North American market, bringing over the Hymer nameplate with it. The existing Roadtrek management team was kept onboard to manage the newly created Erwin Hymer North America, some of whom, including CEO Jim Hammill, implicated in the embezzlement allegations.
In recent days, around 100 of the 1000 employees at the production facility in Kitchener, ON (Canada) have been laid off, and are reporting that operations have nearly ceased.