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Donzi/Pro-Line parent sold to investor

American Marine Holdings, the parent company of Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats, was sold to a private investor.

"I feel it is absolutely good news," Josh Stickles, vice president of marketing for Donzi, told Soundings Trade Only. "The commitment of the new ownership to weather the [economic] storm is encouraging."

The transaction was completed June 15, though details and the identity of the private investor were not disclosed.

Stickles said both Donzi and Pro-Line will continue to run under the same management team. In addition to Stickles, this includes general manager John E. Walker, vice president of sales Craig Barrie, CFO Howard Bleser, and vice president of credit Paul Jadgmann.

"Right now we're operating both companies the way we have been," said Stickles.

Like many other boatbuilders, American Marine Holdings has been operating at limited production to reduce inventory at the retail level. Donzi has a production staff of about 20 to 30 people in addition to the office staff. This compares to more than 200 before the downturn.

Stickles says Donzi is planning to ramp up production in the coming weeks.

Information on staffing and production levels for Pro-Line was not immediately available.

Pro-Line was founded in 1968 by Dan Atwood and his father, Ray. In 1986, Atwood brought in a New York investment group headed by Lewis Ranieri, Lee Kimmell and Ken Wilson as partners. They formed American Marine Holdings in 1992.

Donzi was founded in 1964 by Don Aronow. The company went through several owners in the 30 years that followed before being purchased by AMH in 1993.

Kimmell served as CEO of AMH for nearly 15 years before stepping down in anticipation of the recent sale.

— Melanie Winters



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