The company will retain its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, and its experienced management team, including President Steve Vogel and CEO Jacob Vogel, will remain. Bennington Marine, since Steve Vogel founded the company in 1997, has been the industry`s leading pontoon boat manufacturer. Nautic Global Group is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of some of the most well-known brands in the boating industry, including: Aqua Patio, Sweetwater, SanPan, Hurricane, Rinker, Godfrey and PolarKraft. Bennington Marine and Nautic Global Group are both headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana. The U.S. market for new powerboats is worth $8 billion, and pontoon boats are the largest and most dynamic segment of the industry, with a compound annual growth rate of 11% since 2010. There is a lot of overlap between different types of powersports, with about 30% of existing Polaris customers owning a boat. The Vogels expanded their Bennington core lineup three years ago with acquisitions that brought the Godfrey, Hurricane and Rinker brands of pontoons, pontoons and cruise ships. Wine said he admires the Vogels` approach to acquisitions, but added that Polaris has no plans to become an expansive player in the boating space. Polaris, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the largest U.S. pontoon manufacturer with four brands – Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane and Rinker. Hurricane builds fiberglass deck boats and Rinker manufactures runabouts, cruisers and deck boats. The group had sales of about $560 million last year.
“The entire Elkhart community will benefit from the acquisition of these great boating brands,” said Jim Malone, President and CEO of Nautic Global Group. “This is a big win for our employees, dealers and customers. We are thrilled that the company is being acquired by one of the most respected companies in the marine industry. Boat Holdings will continue to operate as a standalone business unit following the completion of the transaction, reporting to Bob Mack, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Polaris. Steve Vogel — whom Wine describes as a “brain” and “a very effective operator” — will continue to serve as president and strategic advisor to Polaris, while his son and CEO of Boat Holdings, Jacob Vogel, will continue to lead the boating business. The Vogels are majority shareholders of Boat Holdings with a stake estimated by Forbes between $400 million and $500 million. Private equity firm Balmoral is also an investor. None of the Vogels were available for comment. In a statement, Vogel called Polaris an “ideal partner” for future expansion. Jacob Vogel, CEO of Bennington, added: “This represents an exciting opportunity for both companies. By bringing together some of the strongest brands in the shipping industry into a single family of companies, we will be able to provide merchants and consumers with the highest quality and most innovative products, supporting them with the best services and warranties in the industry. This is truly a historic transaction in the marine industry.
The deal brings Polaris back into the maritime business for the first time in more than a decade, after ending a small water scooter business and a licensing agreement with another manufacturer that placed the Polaris brand on some boats. Polaris Industries, the $5.4 billion (revenue) manufacturer of snowmobiles, SUVs and motorcycles, has agreed to buy the country`s largest pontoon boat manufacturer, Boat Holdings, for $805 million. The cash transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter, will complement Polaris` powersports product portfolio and hopefully provide cross-selling opportunities. Boat Holdings uses a low-asset intensive manufacturing model and offers boats through a dealer network primarily in the United States and Canada. Iconic portfolio of premium brands alongside a leading powersports company Commenting on the deal, Steve Vogel, President of Bennington, said: “Nautic Global Group is an industry pioneer and owns some of the best-known and most trusted brands in the industry – brands that resonate strongly with consumers and are well positioned for future growth while exceeding high expectations. that Nautic has continuously placed on its products and services.