Safe Harbor Marinas Acquired for $2.1 Billion

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Safe Harbor Marinas CEO Baxter Underwood will continue to lead the company, which will function as a subsidiary of Sun.

Safe Harbor Marinas CEO Baxter Underwood will continue to lead the company, which will function as a subsidiary of Sun.

Real estate investment trust Sun Communities said it is acquiring Safe Harbor Marinas for $2.11 billion. Safe Harbor’s operating team, led by Baxter Underwood, will run Safe Harbor as a subsidiary of Sun Communities, independent of Sun’s manufactured home and recreational vehicle community business.

Safe Harbor, which has been on an aggressive acquisitive path since it initially began making investments in 2015, owns and operates 101 marinas, manages five marinas on behalf of third parties and has a network of about 40,000 member boat owners across 22 states.

“Safe Harbor’s scale and unique positioning, coupled with the fragmented marina industry, should provide us with incremental channels to drive shareholder value in the coming years,” Sun chairman and CEO Gary Shiffman said in a statement. “This transaction increases our geographic and customer diversity and introduces a new platform that can enhance our ability to generate industry-leading returns.”

Sun Communities will assume Safe Harbor’s approximately $808 million in debt when the transaction closes, which is expected in the fourth quarter. The acquisition will comprise approximately 15 percent of the company’s pro forma total annual rental revenue.

“We have spent a number of years getting to know Sun and are impressed with their leadership team and track record of consistently growing value for all their stakeholders,” Baxter Underwood, CEO of Safe Harbor Marinas, said in a separate statement. “Safe Harbor will operate independently from Sun's other businesses, but we will benefit from their tremendous strength.”

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