Acquisitions and Investments

Mergers, acquisitions and startups periodically reshape the marine industry, attracting innovators and other new investors.

Cruising clubs announce alliance

The Cruising Rally Association and World Cruising Club Ltd. are joining forces, the groups announced. The Cruising Rally Association is best known as the organizer of the annual Caribbean 1500 Rally from Hampton, Va., to the British Virgin Islands. World Cruising Club Ltd. is the organizer of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, from Las Palmas…more

Dealer exemption included in financial regulation bill

Boat dealers, along with auto and RV dealers, will be exempt from oversight by a new federal consumer financial protection bureau in a bill agreed upon early Friday morning by a congressional conference committee. The bill now goes to the House and Senate for approval, then to President Barack Obama to sign, likely before the…more

European verification service sold

Earlier this month, one of the certifiers for the European Union’s Recreational Craft Directive standards for vessels eight to 80 feet changed hands when Alasdair Reay purchased the verification services division of the operations consultancy and training firm Human Performance Improvements. Reay resigned as CEO of certification standards firm CEproof to take the helm at…more

Sunseeker sold to Irish investor

FL Partners, based in Dublin, Ireland, purchased a significant majority stake in the British luxury yacht manufacturer Sunseeker International. Together with a number of U.K. and Irish investors, FL Partners, which owns the horse-racing paper Racing Post, has provided about $36 million of new capital to Dorset, England-based Sunseeker. Sunseeker, which employs more than 2,300…more

Tax credits spur boatbuilder’s relocation

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announced this week that Lake Assault Boats will receive $111,000 in tax credits from the Commerce Department’s economic development tax credit program to move production from Minnesota to Superior, Wis. “One of my top priorities is to help move companies and communities forward and create good-paying jobs for our citizens,” Doyle…more

Aussie boatbuilder Mustang purchased

Australia’s Mustang Marine has been sold to a “prominent Gold Coast businessman,” according to a statement from the company’s voluntary administrators. “Mustang had been investing heavily in research and development and was in the process of launching a number of new boats. However, the effects of the global economic crisis weighed heavily on Mustang’s financial…more

Bill might not include boat dealer exemption

An amendment to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection bill by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would exempt car dealers from certain financial paperwork. If passed, the amendment – which currently does not exempt boat dealers – could indirectly leave the marine industry with increased length-of-cancellation periods after the signing of financial contracts and limited compensation…more

Venerable Midwest boatbuilder purchased

Crest Marine, a newly formed corporation in Owosso, Mich., announced its acquisition of Maurell Products Inc., manufacturer of Crest and Sunset Bay pontoon boats. “Maurell Products was a family-owned organization since 1957, founded by Maurice Schell,” Joe Curran, managing partner of Crest Marine, said in an e-mail to Trade Only Today. “His daughter, Linda, inherited…more

New automatic data feed updates inventory information

ADP Lightspeed, a provider of dealer management systems, announced its new automatic unit-inventory Web feed. Unit information inside the LightspeedEVO DMS can be fed to dealership Web sites, eliminating double entry. The data feed allows any Web site provider to map to the information. “Dealers can’t let information on their Web sites get stale,” said…more

Priority One, Sea Tow offer membership deal

Priority One Financial Services and Sea Tow are partnering to give their dealer networks’ customers a free limited Sea Tow membership through the company’s Sea Care program. Upon the close of a new- or used-boat purchase with participating Priority One dealers, customers receive the membership, which offers unlimited free towing, jump-starts, fuel drops and other…more

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