Warbird Marine Holdings Acquires Yellowfin

Warbird Marine Holdings, formed by EagleTree Capital to invest in category-leading boatbuilders and managed by industry veteran John Dorton, announced it acquired Yellowfin Yachts. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Yellowfin will be a separately managed sister company to Invincible Boat Co., which Warbird acquired in 2019.

“We are delighted to add Yellowfin to our Warbird platform. Yellowfin is at the pinnacle of their segment both in product lineup and brand prestige,” Warbird CEO Dorton said in a statement.

Warbird said in the statement that it is now the “largest and best capitalized designer and builder of custom offshore fishing boats.”

“The Yellowfin team will remain in place at their Sarasota headquarters with Wylie Nagler as president,” Dorton said. “The Yellowfin and Invincible brands have their own personalities and design philosophies, and we intend to keep it that way.”

Warbird said it will invest in Yellowfin’s facilities, people and new-product development — the same business approach that ushered in Invincible’s success.

“At Yellowfin, we have always strived to build the best boat by using the best materials — the best hardware, the best systems,” said Nagler, who founded Yellowfin in 1998. “Joining forces with Warbird and John Dorton gives us the scale and resources of the Warbird platform without changing Yellowfin’s DNA or our relentless focus on quality.”

“By combining the resources of these two great businesses, Warbird will be able to accelerate innovation, invest in quality and customer service, expand capacity, and ensure timely deliveries to our valued customers and distributors,” Dorton said. “Our goal is to set a new bar for the premium center console segment.”

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White River Marine Group acquires Hatteras

White River Marine Group announced a significant expansion of its saltwater manufacturing footprint with the acquisition of Hatteras Inc., in New Bern, North Carolina.

The brand will become part of the White River Marine Group. The company’s family of brands includes Tracker, Mako, Ranger, Triton, Tahoe, Nitro and others.

The addition will shift the focus of the company’s saltwater manufacturing from the Midwest to the Atlantic seashore, closer to the saltwater market and a thriving community of craftsmen and women. Importantly, the purchase represents an investment in New Bern, North Carolina’s long history of boat building and the jobs it sustains.

“We are inspired by the many similarities between the pride and passion of the master boat builders from our home
in the Ozarks and the legendary boat builders of North Carolina and the New Bern area in particular,” stated a company promotional piece. “Both share the same genuine commitment to American craftsmanship, with scores of family members working together and generations of highly experienced boat builders taking pride in what they do. We’re committed to support Hatteras in staying true to its roots as a legendary saltwater brand built by a passion for fishing while expanding our operations to better serve all those who love the sea.”

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Safe Harbor pays $340M for Fort Lauderdale mega-marina

Safe Harbor Marinas paid $340 million for a superyacht storage and repair facility in Fort Lauderdale.

Dallas-based Safe Harbor Marinas, led by Baxter Underwood, bought the Lauderdale Marine Center at 2029 Southwest 20th Street from The Carlyle Group, records show. The property spans 60 acres along the New River’s South Fork.

Lauderdale Marine Center was founded in 1997, and underwent expansions and improvements over the years, growing to a 106-slip facility, according to a news release.

It bills itself as the biggest yacht repair facility nationwide, as its boat lifts have a capacity up to 485 tons, according to its website. Aside from boat storage and repair, Lauderdale Marine Center also leases offices to marine contractors and boat service operators.

Carlyle Group, based in Washington, D.C., bought the property and the adjacent River Bend Marine Center in 2015 reportedly for more than $140 million. Carlyle, led by Kewsong Lee, upgraded the property, opening the Southwest Layday yacht repair area and adding boat slips to the River Bend Marine Center.

Safe Harbor Marinas also owns Safe Harbor North Palm Beach at 1037 Marina Drive in North Palm Beach, and Safe Harbor New Port Cove at 255 East 22nd Court in Riviera Beach, according to its website.

This is the latest South Florida marina to sell in recent months. Cove Marina Holding bought River Cove Marina along the Miami River for $11 million in March; and the Partridge Equity Group bought Pennell’s Marina and Freedom Marina in Deerfield Beach for $18.1 million in December.

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OneWater Marine completes acquisition of Walker Marine Group

OneWater Marine Inc. has completed the acquisition of Walker Marine Group, marking the largest acquisition in the company’s history, and further expanding its presence in Florida.

Walker Marine Group has five locations in southwest Florida to serve its established and growing customer base with new and pre-owned boat sales, quality service and parts, as well as finance and insurance services.

In addition, Walker Marine Group is an authorized dealer for many premier brands, including Pursuit, Tiara Yachts, Tiara Sport, Regal, Chris Craft, Hewes, Cobia, Maverick, Pathfinder, SeaHunt and Yamaha Boats. Walker Marine Group generated revenues in excess of $80 million over the past twelve months.

“In-line with our acquisition strategy, we continue to aggressively pursue market-leading dealerships to fold into the OneWater family, which is exemplified by the addition of Walker Marine Group. The Walker Marine Group is an established and highly regarded dealership group that further enhances our presence in the important southwest Florida boating market,” said Austin Singleton, Chief Executive Officer of OneWater Marine. “We have a strong track record of utilizing our scale and integration techniques to collaboratively drive operational synergies and expanded margins. The acquisition of Walker Marine is our largest transaction to date and reinforces our commitment to doubling down on strategic growth and maximizing value for our stockholders.”

Jim Walker, owner of Walker Marine Group, said, “We are excited to be joining OneWater’s preeminent network of dealerships and working together to drive the business forward and maximize growth and profitability. Walker Marine has a long history, deep customer relationships, extremely qualified team members and prestigious brands, which will be further enhanced by OneWater’s digital platform and best practices.”

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Safe Harbor Marinas Announces Merger Agreement With Sun Communities, Inc.

DALLAS, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — We are pleased to announce that Safe Harbor Marinas has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) and one of its subsidiaries in a transaction for cash and SUI equity valued at $2.11 billion.

“We are excited to partner with Sun Communities, a premier real estate investment trust that owns and operates 426 properties across North America,” said Baxter Underwood, CEO of Safe Harbor Marinas. “We have spent a number of years getting to know Sun and are impressed with their leadership team and track record of consistently growing value for all their stakeholders. Safe Harbor will operate independently from Sun’s other businesses, but we will benefit from their tremendous strength. We are committed to continuing the growth of our marina portfolio by harnessing Sun’s advantageous cost and form of capital.”

Gary A. Shiffman, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Communities added, “We look forward to welcoming Safe Harbor to the Sun family. We have studied the marina industry and specifically Safe Harbor for a number of years and have gotten to know the team very well. Expanding Sun’s platform to include marinas is a major strategic decision and we could not have chosen a better partner to execute this important growth initiative.”

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Safe Harbor Marinas was built in partnership with American Infrastructure Funds, Koch Real Estate Investments, Weatherford Capital, and Guggenheim Partners.

Both Moelis & Company LLC and Citizens Capital Markets served as advisors to Safe Harbor Marinas. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. served as advisor to Sun Communities. Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss P.C. served as legal counsel to Sun Communities and Sidley Austin LLP and Duane Morris LLP served as legal counsel to Safe Harbor Marinas.

About Safe Harbor Marinas

Safe Harbor Marinas is the largest owner and operator of marinas in the world. Based in Dallas, Texas, the company is dedicated to providing exceptional service and memorable experiences to the global boating community.

For more information, visit SHMarinas.com.

About Sun Communities, Inc. 

Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) is a REIT that, as of June 30, 2020, owned, operated, or had an interest in a portfolio of 426 communities comprising nearly 143,000 developed sites in 33 states and Ontario, Canada.

For more news and stories, visit Suncommunities.com.

SOURCE Safe Harbor Marinas

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MarineMax Expands Great Lakes and West Coast Presence Adding 20 Locations

~Accretive Acquisition of SkipperBud’s & Silver Seas Drives Meaningful Growth~

~Combined Operation Produced $220 Million in Calendar 2019~

~Strategically Grows Higher Margin Revenue – Significantly Grows Its Marina Portfolio~

CLEARWATER, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– MarineMax, Inc. (NYSE: HZO), the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, today announced the acquisition of SkipperBud’s and its affiliate, Silver Seas Yachts (collectively SkipperBud’s), significantly growing its presence in the Great Lakes region and the West Coast of the United States. SkipperBud’s is one of the largest sales, brokerage, service and marina/storage groups in the world. Fiscal 2019 revenue for SkipperBud’s was $220 million, making this the largest acquisition for the Company to date. The shareholders of SkipperBud’s will remain as its operators. The acquisition is expected to be accretive in its first full year.

SkipperBud’s was founded over 60 years ago with the realization that the growth and success of the company depended on its team members. Under Michael Pretasky Sr., SkipperBud’s demonstrated a commitment to customers by delivering the dream of the boating lifestyle while evolving the Company to increase its focus on marinas and storage income making it one of the industry’s largest dealership and marina operators. Led for the past 14 years by Michael Pretasky Jr., the Company has seen significant growth and expansion of locations and brands. With the acquisition, MarineMax adds 20 locations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, California, Washington and Florida. Additionally, the acquisition strengthens MarineMax’s premium real estate holdings with the addition of 11 marina and storage facilities, nearly doubling the Company’s marina portfolio.

W. Brett McGill, Chief Executive Officer and President of MarineMax stated, “We are very excited to expand with such a great organization as SkipperBud’s, who we have known for many years and who share our values and culture. The acquisition adds greatly to our geographic reach in the Great Lakes and the West Coast. It also provides us the opportunity to fully leverage our business and brand infrastructure across the country, better enabling us to serve customers in all markets. The acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to grow our cycle resilient higher margin businesses, especially marina and storage income, by nearly doubling our marina operations. We are excited to have Mike Pretasky Jr. join our management team and continue to lead the operations. Mike has a proven track record in the marine industry and will help lead the Company to further growth.”

Mike Pretasky, Jr., President of SkipperBud’s stated, “We have been long-time industry partners of MarineMax and have similar values of taking care of our customers and our team with a focus on our higher margin businesses. We are excited about joining the MarineMax team. Gaining access to their exclusive brands will further drive our growth, especially in larger yachts. The combination of both organizations enables SkipperBud’s to take advantage of multiple growth opportunities in the future.”

The Company will provide additional details on the acquisition when it reports its fiscal year 2020 results.

About MarineMax

Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, such as Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Hatteras, Azimut Yachts, Benetti, Ocean Alexander, Galeon, Grady-White, Harris, Bennington, Crest, MasterCraft, MJM Yachts, NauticStar, Scout, Sailfish, Scarab Jet Boats, Tige, Yamaha Jet Boats, Aquila, Aviara, and Nautique. MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and services, as well as provides yacht brokerage and charter services. MarineMax currently has 77 retail locations in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. MarineMax also owns Fraser Yachts Group and Northrop & Johnson, leading superyacht brokerage and luxury yacht services companies with operations in multiple countries. The Company also owns and operates MarineMax Vacations in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. MarineMax is a New York Stock Exchange-listed company. For more information, please visit www.marinemax.com.

Forward Looking Statement

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include the shareholders of Skipper Bud’s remaining as operators, the acquisition being accretive, the Company’s long-term strategy to grow its cycle resilient higher margin businesses, the Company’s continued growth, the future growth of Skipper Bud’s, and the future opportunities for Skipper Bud’s. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts, risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations as of the date of this release. These risks, assumptions and uncertainties include the Company’s abilities to reduce inventory, manage expenses and accomplish its goals and strategies, the quality of the new product offerings from the Company’s manufacturing partners, the impacts (direct and indirect) of COVID-19 on the Company’s business, the Company’s employees, the Company’s manufacturing partners, and the overall economy, general economic conditions, as well as those within our industry, the level of consumer spending, the Company’s ability to integrate acquisitions into existing operations, the continued recovery of the industry, and numerous other factors identified in the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Bradford Marine parent to acquire Billfish Marina

Bradford Marine parent company Fort Lauderdale Yacht Harbor said it entered an agreement with Billfish Marina owner PipeWelders Marine to purchase the marina for an undisclosed price.

Billfish Marina, a repair and marina facility in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., agreed to terms to be acquired by Fort Lauderdale Yacht Harbor.

The acquisition of Billfish Marina and all affiliated entities — PipeWelders Marine, P&R Canvas and High Seas Technology — is anticipated to close in April, subject to customary closing conditions. Both properties will continue operations as normal and will retain the Bradford Marine, Billfish Marina and affiliate names.

Julie Fisher Berry, principal of Marina Investments Group at Stiles Realty, brokered the transaction. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to acquire Billfish Marina, PipeWelders Marine, P&R Canvas and High Seas Technology,” said Fort Lauderdale Yacht Harbor CEO John Kelly in a statement. “Adding Billfish Marina and its affiliates, with their world-class employees, significantly expands our geographic footprint and the services we can provide to our customers in South Florida.”

Bradford Marine and Billfish Marina have service-focused operating philosophies and complementary strengths, Kelly said.

“One year ago, with the acquisition of Bradford Marine, we looked forward to being an integral part of the Fort Lauderdale marine community to help grow Broward County’s $8.9 billion economic impact that comes from the marine industry,” said Fort Lauderdale Yacht Harbor COO Michael Kelly. “Entering into a purchase contract for the purchase of Billfish Marina and its affiliated companies reinforces our commitment to those stated goals.”

“Continuing family ownership was very important to me because I can see that John and Michael Kelly are committed to the same high standards my father and I had building Billfish Marina and our other companies to what they are today,” said Billfish Marina/PipeWelders president Trey Irvine.

Irvine will continue as an advisor to the Kellys after the transaction closes.

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Southern Marinas acquires Aqua Marine properties

Southern Marinas Holdings, LLC, a partnership between a New York-based private investment firm and Southern Marinas, announced the purchase of Hi-Lift Marina in Aventura; Hidden Harbour in Pompano Beach; and Palm Harbour in Cape Haze.

These Florida locations were acquired from Aqua Marine Partners, LLC in a deal that brings the growing Southern Marinas portfolio to ten properties. Southern Marinas said, while the timing of the acquisition comes as people are practicing social distancing, boating provides a fun activity to get outside in a healthy, recreational setting with family and friends. Southern hopes it will continue to be able to meet the needs of boaters and keep them out on the water during the weeks ahead.

Located just off the Intracoastal Waterway in Aventura, Fla., between downtown Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Hi-Lift Marina offers a location just minutes away from the Baker’s Haulover Inlet. The historic landmark marina features full-service dry storage operations and a showroom of new boats, a boat club and yacht brokerage facilities.

The newest full-service dry storage marina in Pompano Beach, Fla., Hidden Harbour is the closest dry storage facility to the Hillsboro Inlet; and with no fixed bridges, Southern Marinas says it offers fast and easy access to the Atlantic Ocean. The dry stack marina can accommodate boats up to 43-feet and is capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds up to 140 miles per hour (Category 4). In addition, the marina will soon be neighbors with a new community being developed by Andy Sturner, CEO of Aqua Marine Partners. This mixed-use development will feature apartments, restaurants and retail and commercial tenants.

“I am delighted to be working with the Southern team as our development moves forward. I have known the principals of Southern for many years, and this will be an ideal situation for both of our organizations,” said Sturner. 

Palm Harbour is a boutique, resort-style marina, situated minutes from Boca Grande Pass. The property features dry stack storage for vessels up to 40-feet and the marina’s wet slips can accommodate boats up to 65-feet. Whether arriving by water or land, the property features an array of amenities and services.

“We are excited to add Hi-Lift, Hidden Harbour and Palm Harbour marinas to our rapidly growing portfolio,” said Andrew Gendron, principal and chief investment officer with Southern Marinas. “Our overall goal is to continue to expand the Southern Marinas brand through the purchase of key locations. Our team is always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities like this one from Aqua Marine.”

While the marinas are currently open and running as normal, Southern’s management team said it will continue to monitor all government updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. The marinas will be implementing the protocols outlined by these agencies with the primary goal of providing a safe environment for boaters and team members at their locations.

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OneWater Launches IPO

OneWater Marine Inc. (NASDAQ: ONEW) (“OneWater”) announced the pricing of an initial public offering of its Class A common stock.

“Today is a significant milestone for OneWater as we embark on the next chapter of our business as a publicly traded company. Since our inception in October 2014, OneWater has experienced tremendous growth, and we couldn’t have achieved that without the contributions and hard work from all our dedicated team members and partners.” OneWater Marine CEO Austin Singleton said following the launch. “Our success has been rooted in the resilient and entrepreneurial nature of our organization, as well as our ability to drive growth and enhance operational efficiency. These attributes will continue to carry us forward as a market leader as we enter the public markets.”

Renaissance Capital reported OneWater raised $55 million by offering 4.6 million shares at $12, the low end of the range of $12 to $14, to command a market value of $166 million. The company relaunched its IPO last month after postponing in October 2019.

The shares began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market on Feb. 7, 2020 under the ticker symbol “ONEW.” In addition, OneWater granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 692,308 shares of OneWater’s Class A common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.

The offering is expected to close on February 11, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

OneWater intends to contribute the net proceeds to its subsidiary, One Water Marine Holdings, LLC (“OneWater LLC”) in exchange for limited liability company units in OneWater LLC. OneWater LLC intends to use such net proceeds, together with cash on hand and borrowings under its credit facility, to redeem all outstanding preferred units in One Water Assets & Operations, LLC held by certain affiliates of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and The Beekman Group.

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T-H Marine acquires First Source

T-H Marine Supplies in Huntsville, Ala., said it acquired First Source, the marine accessory division of Maurice Sporting Goods. Terms were not disclosed.

A statement said First Source will operate as a standalone division of T-H Marine in Fort Myers, Fla.

“We’re thrilled to complete our largest revenue acquisition to date,” said T-H Marine CEO Jeff Huntley in the statement. “Our new First Source division will allow T-H Marine to expand into new product categories and continue to grow our product portfolio that we offer to both our OEM and aftermarket customer bases.”

First Source was founded in 2004. It helps design, manufacture, package, test and supply companies with marine and paddle-sports products, the statement said.

Co-founder Read Samples will remain with the company. “T-H will allow our team to expand into more product categories, becoming more meaningful to our customers, including more OEM product opportunities,” Samples said in the statement.

T-H Marine has been a First Source customer for many years, along with other manufacturers, distributors and major retailers.

“This is our first acquisition this year, but it is our eighth acquisition in the past decade,” Huntley said. “We will continue working on more acquisitions and more organic product development to continue growing our stable of brands and our breadth of awesome products.”

Huntley said the company has experienced 20 percent compounded organic growth during the last 10 years.

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