An investor group led by a former railroad executive is assuming an unspecified equity position in family-owned, luxury-class motorhome manufacturer Foretravel Inc., Nacogdoches, Texas, and is stepping in to manage the company as well, according to a Jan. 27 Foretravel press release.
Foretravel announced that Lyle Reed, Frisco, Texas, and two other principals will take over Foretravel on Feb. 15, although members of founder C.M. Fore’s family will remain majority stockholders.
“The Fore family has relinquished control for a period of time,” said Floyd Wilcox, a former Foretravel vice president who Thursday was named interim president. “The Fore’s still have stock ownership in the company, but not as much as they did. As a group, they remain majority stockholders.”
Besides the sale of stock, Wilcox reported, the deal also involved transfer of control of stock to Reed that is owned by a Fore family trust. “The Fore’s only involvement in the company will be that they may still have board positions” Wilcox said.
Foretravel, which manufactures diesel pusher motorhomes ranging in price upwards of $800,000, was founded in 1967 by C.M. and Marie Fore. Their son, Ray Fore, the company’s president, stepped down on Thursday.
Reed is the former president and CEO of Chicago, Central and Pacific Railroad, retiring in 1996 after a 30-year-career in the railroad industry.
In the press release, the company termed the transaction “a major change in ownership and management,” and reported Wilcox would serve as president until the deal closes on Feb. 15, at which time Reed will become president.
Reed is joined in the new ownership and management group by Dane Miller, president and CEO of Biomet Inc., Warsaw, Ind., a leading designer and manufacturer of medical implants. The other member of the group is Gregory Amys of Lake Nebagamon, Wisc., a former business executive and long-time Reed associate who will assume operations duties in Texas.
“They are going to be hands-on managers,” Wilcox said. After relinquishing his interim title, Wilcox said he will return to his former position with the company.
Speculation about Foretravel’s future has been around for several years. The company was the subject of sales rumors in 2000, which Ray Fore publicly denied.
In 2003, Foretravel sold or closed five company-owned stores in Texas, Washington, California and Tennessee that it had operated for years as part of its core business strategy and instead established a small network of independent dealers.
Long recognized as an RV industry innovator, Foretravel coaches are built on the company’s proprietary monocoque chassis.