Mashburn, Mercer invest in houseboat company

Updated: August 21, 2003, 9:08 PM ET

SOMERSET, Ky. -- An investment team led by former Kentucky star Jamal Mashburn and including former Wildcat Ron Mercer has agreed in principle to purchase Sumerset Custom Houseboats.

The company will undergo a financial and managerial reorganization when the sale is completed in September. The company has been owned for the past seven years by the Neckel family.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Sumerset Custom Houseboats employs almost 200 workers in a 200,000-square foot manufacturing facility near Lake Cumberland in southern Kentucky.

"We see this as more than just a business acquisition," Mashburn said. "This is a company that was built on solid values but has been experiencing financial stress. We can redevelop the business into an organization that will have new leadership, new goals and new operating procedures. And in the end, we'll have a new company that will be more efficient, more productive and more profitable."

Mashburn played for Kentucky from 1990-93. He is the school's sixth all-time leading scorer, with 1,843 points. Mashburn now plays for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets.

Mercer played for the Wildcats from 1995-97, finishing with 1,013 points. The Wildcats reached the NCAA championship game in each of Mercer's two seasons. Mercer now plays for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index