Yanmar acquires Vetus

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Japanese diesel engine manufacturer Yanmar purchased Netherlands-based Vetus in an effort to grow its marine market in a “stagnating economy,” Yanmar announced today.

With the addition of Vetus, a boat equipment systems engineering company with markets in more than 100 countries, Yanmar hopes to continue to increase its footprint in the marine industry, the company announced.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Tom Watson, brand manager for Georgia-based Yanmar America, told Trade Only Today. “I really like their product lineup. It complements a lot of things we do as engine manufacturers and that’s why we’re excited about it. Everything made sense for both companies.”

Vetus will be 100 percent owned by Yanmar, but will retain its brand name and all of its current business lines, including engines, and will continue to be developed separately and sold independently, announced Yanmar Europe, which is based in the Netherlands. Yanmar’s main office is in Osaka, Japan, and Yanmar Marine has regional headquarters in Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia and Japan.

“We expect this merger to be profitable for both brands,” Yanmar Europe CEO Geert Jan Mantel said in a statement. “Together we will be able to further strengthen our presence in the leisure craft market and fill in each other’s gaps. In today’s stagnating economy we both see partnership as one of the best strategic ways to grow.”

“Vetus is proud to become a member of the Yanmar group of companies,” Vetus CEO Marcel Borsboom said in a statement. “Together we will create a powerhouse in the industry, from which all our customers and the marine sector in general will benefit. Being two strong, profitable companies, we enter the future with great confidence.”

Both companies hope to capitalize on the extensive sales and service networks each has developed during the combined 150 years they have been in business; Yanmar celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012 and Vetus will mark its 50th in 2014.

Based in Schiedam, Netherlands, Vetus has been involved in pleasure craft and small commercial vessel innovation for nearly half a century, with brands that include Maxwell anchoring systems and Marex custom-made windows.

“Maxwell’s unique products will also help Yanmar to strengthen its presence in the sail- and powerboat markets and the superyacht industry,” the statement read.

The Yanmar organization, which employs more than 15,000 people globally and has a sales network operating in more than 130 countries, has been building diesel engines since 1912 with a design philosophy geared toward more power and less weight.

Yanmar designs and manufactures diesel engines, accessories and finishing equipment for a wide range of applications in pleasure craft and commercial marine vessels, for industrial use, agricultural machinery, construction equipment and cogeneration power systems.

In Europe, Yanmar employs about 600 people and generates annual sales of about 800 million euros. Consolidated base net sales were 551.1 billion yen, with an ordinary profit of 22.1 billion yen for the year that ended March 31, 2012.

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— Reagan Haynes

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