MarineMax Acquires Cruisers Yachts, Will Sell/Service Via Select Retail Network

“Our motto is: We don’t just sell boats, we sell boating,” MarineMax CEO and President Brett McGill tells me when we discuss his company’s acquisition of the esteemed Cruisers Yachts boat builder (with its own heritage dating back to 1904). “And our history has been one of constant innovation, driven by my father Bill McGill’s vision when he founded the company. It was a relatively simple idea: to bring individual boating retailers and marina service operations together as a single, consistent network of operations. But that drive has always taken us into new territory.”

And the newest territory is entering the world of boat building directly. As a retailer with arguably one of the most recognizable brand names in the country, how did the news of owning its own building operation sit with MarineMax’s estimable stable of 25 other brand partners like Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Grady-White and Azimut (to name just a few)?

“The acquisition was handled with care and sensitivity; we’ve never looked to ‘trade fiberglass’ and switch our brand offerings,” McGill clarifies. “Cruisers’ products fit in a category that doesn’t compete with our existing brands. The reception from our other builders has gone well. In addition, we wanted Cruisers to retain its existing retailers, so we are only offering the products in select MarineMax locations, again, to avoid unnecessary conflicts.”

The term “perfect storm” may be ill-chosen in regards to boating, but, according to McGill, the opportunity at Cruisers was just too attractive to pass up. While always popular builds, MarineMax partner Sea Ray essentially left the over-50-foot vessel market, leaving a gap in MarineMax’s spectrum of retail offerings. “Not only does Cruisers Yachts have a strong century-long history, terrific reputation, and incredible crew of skilled professionals, but it had just completed work on a new facility that was essentially doubling their production capabilities when it came up for sale.”

As such, MarineMax has no plans to re-badge Cruisers’ products, nor create any kind of special customer scenario within their sales operation. “This isn’t a case of Cruisers Yachts becoming a ‘house brand’ for MarineMax. The experience for Cruisers buyers will be perfectly consistent with buyers of any of the brands we offer.”

Certainly, with 77 locations in 22 states, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands and other countries and 30 owned marinas operating 8,000 slips, MarineMax has one of the best “real world” fingers on the pulse of what the boating public is looking for in a vessel, but McGill also downplays that: “When we investigated the opportunity, we took a good, long look at Cruisers’ long-range development plans, and they just got everything right. Sure, we can add some value and expertise with our own insight, but it would all be in sync with what Cruisers is already doing so well.”

“Plus, MarineMax isn’t exactly a ‘newbie’ to boat-building involvement,” he adds. “We are the primary customer of power-cat builder Aquila Power Catamarans that produces the charter fleets for our BVI and Bahamas operations and we also sell them worldwide. We are deeply involved in each and every one of those builds. Our ownership of Cruisers Yachts is just a natural extension of the innovation and growth MarineMax has been doing all along. We are interested in creating an evolving and always-superb MarineMax experience and lifestyle.”

When asked to pick just two Cruisers vessels that best show-off the builder’s appeal, he pointed to The 60 Cantius and the 42 GLS.

2022 Cruisers Yachts 60 Cantius

The 60 Cantius packs in the luxurious features of a larger vessel, in an easy-to-pilot 60-foot format. With spacious accommodations, abundant glass to bring waterborne vistas in, and a retractable sunroof, it is designed to deliver a cruising approach that is equal parts private opulence and floating party fun.

Price Range: $1.4 to $1.6 million

Length Overall: 59 feet, 10 inches

Beam: 16 feet

Draft: 4 feet

Fuel Capacity: 647 gallons

Powerplant: 2x 725-hp Volvo Penta IPS950 diesel engines

Top Speed: 34 knots (about 39mph)

Outstanding Features: Full length glass doors; Master, VIP, and bunk-bed staterooms; washer and dryer

2022 Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS

The adventure-seeking vibe of Cruisers Yachts’ GLS series is amped up in the new 42 GLS. Dual beach doors port and starboard expand stern water access to create a more spacious “beach club” deck; a galley with a raised wet bar and ample bow lounging space makes for an unexpected level of entertainment sophistication. The lower cabin features an aft stateroom and U-shaped dinette that converts into a berth.

Price Range: from $928,340

Length Overall: 42 feet

Beam: 16 feet

Draft: 3 feet, 6 inches

Fuel Capacity: 403 gallons

Powerplant: 3x Mercury Verado 350-400hp outboards

Top Speed: 45 knots (about 52 mph)

Outstanding Features: Expanding aft beach doors, Simrad electronics, joystick piloting

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Brunswick to acquire Navico

Brunswick Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Navico, a global leader in marine electronics and sensors for $1.05 billion. As a result of this acquisition, Brunswick will add the industry leading brands of Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, and C-MAP to its Advanced Systems Group (ASG), which includes the leading Parts & Accessories (P&A) brands in power management, digital control and monitoring, and networked devices.

“The acquisition of Navico and its award-winning brands will immediately accelerate Brunswick’s ACES (Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification and Shared-Access) strategy, and support our vision to deliver distinctive new products and technology-enabled experiences,” said Dave Foulkes, Brunswick Corporation CEO, in a company press release.  “We will continue to invest both in organic initiatives and acquisitions to maintain our position of global product leadership, and the addition of Lowrance, Simrad, B&G and C-MAP to our existing brand portfolio will further strengthen our ability to provide complete, innovative digital solutions to consumers and comprehensive, integrated systems offerings to our OEM customers.”

Navico is a privately held global company based in Egersund, Norway and co-owned by Altor Fund IV and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. It is a provider of multi-function displays, fish finders, autopilots, sonar, radar, and cartography. Navico’s strong brands serve most major powerboat and sailing markets for both recreational and commercial applications.

Navico’s revenues totaled approximately $470 million for the trailing 12-month period ended May 31, 2021, with attractive revenue growth, a strong margin profile, and a capital efficient business model. Brunswick’s P&A segment accounts for about $1.5 billion – or 35% of total 2020 annual revenues. With the addition of Navico, Brunswick expects its P&A businesses to have revenues exceeding $2.0 billion. 

“After a strong period of growth, we are very excited about joining the Brunswick family to further strengthen our offering and support our customers going forward.” said Knut Frostad, Navico’s President and CEO. “On behalf of everyone at Navico, we cannot wait to begin our journey with Brunswick and share our passion and dedication with their team. By working together, we will be able to deliver a unique and integrated customer experience.”

The closing of the transaction is anticipated during the second half of 2021 and is subject to usual and customary closing conditions as well as regulatory review and approval.

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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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