Bass Pro Group acquires Platinum Equity fishing-boat brands - Trade Only Today

Bass Pro Group acquires Platinum Equity fishing-boat brands

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Bass Pro Group today announced an agreement to buy Fishing Holdings LLC, a manufacturer of fishing boats that include Ranger Boats, Stratos and Triton, from the Platinum Equity Group.

Financial terms of the transaction were not publicly disclosed.

After the deal closes, Fishing Holdings will continue to operate independently under its existing management at its headquarters in Flippin, Ark., which is a two-hour drive from Bass Pro Shops’ headquarters in Springfield, Mo.

The agreement combines two internationally recognized fishing boat brands. It also creates another connection between two industry leaders, Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris and Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood, who are dedicated fishermen, conservationists and entrepreneurs.

Years ago, the outdoorsmen began fishing on the White River and White River Chain of Lakes in the Ozarks, and they even fished together in the first National BASS Tournaments.

“This partnership brings added long-term stability for both companies and for the dealer networks that provide customers with quality boats at exceptional values,” Morris, who also is the founder and CEO of Tracker Marine Group, said in a statement. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Forrest Wood many years, and I deeply respect him and his family that founded and built a solid-performing business with excellent products.”

“It’s also important that our companies share comparable cultures and values and are dedicated to manufacturing quality products in the USA,” Morris added.

“Nearly five years ago we pledged to provide the resources and support necessary to help the company grow and evolve, while respecting the heritage and deep roots in fishing that make it so special,” Platinum Equity partner Louis Samson, who led the acquisitions in 2010, said in a separate statement. “We achieved our goals and I am very proud of all that has been accomplished during our stewardship.”

California-based Platinum Equity Group’s PBH Marine Group announced that it had bought the brands out of bankruptcy in 2010, purchasing essentially all of the assets of Genmar Holdings for $70 million.

PBH purchased 11 brands, including Ranger, Stratos, Champion, Wellcraft, Four Winns, Larson, Glastron and others, Soundings Trade Only reported at the time.

Carver and Marquis were purchased for $6.05 million by J&D Acquisitions LLC, a company created by former Genmar owner Irwin Jacobs, along with John Paul DeJoria. Some additional brands were subsequently resold, including the Larson brand, which Jacobs also purchased.

The Ranger and Stratos brands were folded into Fishing Holdings, and Four Winns, Glastron and Wellcraft (and the revived brand Scarab) were rolled into Rec Boat Holdings. PBH also acquired Triton from Brunswick Corp. to add to the Fishing Holdings portfolio.

Rec Boat Holdings was sold to the Beneteau Group this summer.

“We are impressed with the company’s leadership team and performance and look forward to welcoming them to the Bass Pro Shops family,” Morris said.

“We are fortunate to partner with Bass Pro Group, which understands the industry and our brands,” Fishing Holdings president Randy Hopper said. “This new alliance will provide synergies that will strengthen our independent dealer base and ensure our continued focus on fishing.”

“I’m excited for Ranger and the team at Fishing Holdings,” Wood said. “Johnny’s organization is deeply rooted in fishing and dedicated to conservation. He’s made a huge contribution to our sport, and I believe this is a real opportunity to better serve so many dealers and loyal customers around the country.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

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