Grand Rapids bar owner wants to 'monetize' the Titanic

Nov 22, 2010

Chris Knape has a piece in the Grand Rapids Press about hedge fund manager and bar owner, Mark Sellers.

Sellers moved back to Grand Rapids around three years ago where he owns the bars Hopcat, Stella’s Lounge and Viceroy.

Knape details how Sellers, founder of Sellers Capital Management, Inc., orchestrated a hostile take over Premier Exhibitions, Inc., after its stock began to plunge.

Premier Exhibitions is a publicly traded company that owns and operates the popular traveling museum exhibit Bodies Revealed. The company also owns RMS Titanic, Inc (RMST). RMST has thousands of Titanic artifacts and has fought in court to maintain salvage rights to the infamous shipwreck.

Premier Exhibitions came close to bankruptcy which led Sellers to take control. He's in the middle of trying to revive the company now, and key to that revival is to capitalize on the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in April of 2012.  From the article:

“My plan is to make sure that the Titanic assets are well taken care of... It’s an international treasure. I don’t want someone to piece them out and sell them on eBay or put them in a private collection never to be seen again by the general public. So I’m going to stay involved until there is some certainty about what is going to happen with those Titanic assets.”

For someone who is used to buying low and selling high, Sellers says he'll be happy if he can just break even with this investment, saying he prefers the life of a bar owner more than a hedge fund manager.