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Bennington Marine acquires Nautic Global Group

Pontoon builder Bennington Marine bought Nautic Global Group and its eight boat brands.

Pontoon builder Bennington Marine bought Nautic Global Group and its eight boat brands.

Elkhart, Ind.-based Bennington will acquire the brands and certain assets and liabilities of Nautic Global, also based in Elkhart, whose portfolio includes four pontoon brands.

Bennington founder Steve Vogel said the acquisition will give dealers the opportunity to expand product lines.

“Current dealers of either or both brands will have opportunities to expand their representation, and the companies announced that the intention is to distribute dealer-specific news and meetings scheduled shortly after the closing of the transaction, which is anticipated to be Oct. 2,” CEO Jacob Vogel said in a statement. “At this time we are planning on operating these acquired brands and businesses as an organization separate from Bennington, but with the same world-class attention to quality and customer service.”

Nautic Global, the sixth-largest U.S. boat manufacturer, has as much as half of the deckboat market share with its Hurricane brand. The company’s pontoon brands include Godfrey Pontoons, Sanpan, Aqua Patio and Sweetwater. It also builds Rinker Express Cruisers, Captiva Sport Boats and Polar Kraft aluminum fishing boats.

In late August, Nautic Global Group CEO Jim Malone told Trade Only Today that the group was up for sale and that the company expected to announce a new owner or owners by Sept. 23. He didn’t know whether the company would be sold as a whole or by brand.

Malone called the sale a “win” for dealers.

“The entire Elkhart-area community will benefit from the acquisition of these great boat brands, as this represents a big win for the employees, dealers and customer end users,” Malone said. “We’re pleased that the company is being acquired by one of the most highly regarded companies in the boating industry.”

“Nautic Global Group is an industry pioneer and has some of the best known, most trusted brands in the industry,” founder and chairman Steve Vogel said. “We have always respected what the company has accomplished. We look forward to working closely with Nautic’s world-class management team to make the transition as efficient and seamless as possible for employees, vendors and dealers. We believe the Nautic brands resonate strongly with the consumer and are poised to grow significantly in the future while exceeding the high expectations it has continually set for its products and services. Bennington is the ideal partner to help achieve these goals for this business.”

“This represents an exciting opportunity for both companies,” Jacob Vogel said. “By putting some of the strongest brands in the marine industry together in one corporate family we will be able to better provide dealers and consumers with the highest-quality, most innovative products and back them with the best services and warranties in the industry. This is truly a historic transaction in the boating industry.”

“Having these brands be acquired by a stable, established industry player which knows the segments well is a great win for our dealers and employees,” Malone said.

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