Analysts see potential IPO for Platinum Equity’s boat brands

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Some analysts covering the marine industry are speculating whether Platinum Equity’s boatbuilding brands, acquired out of bankruptcy nearly four years ago and referred to as the PBH Marine Group, are poised to go public.

A more efficient supply chain, alongside increasing demand and a steady outlook, are all in PBH Marine's favor, BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson told The Street.

"Private equity groups like PBH have generated economies of scale and scope by combining some facilities," Johnson told the news outlet in a phone interview. "The industry is much more profitable than it was four years ago."

Jimmy Baker, a B. Riley & Co. analyst, also thinks an IPO is possible and would benefit the entire boating industry by drawing more investors into the space.

"PBH may have enough scale to go public," Baker said, pointing to its recent entry into the jetboat market through the Scarab and Wellcraft brands, as well as its fishing brands since that segment has enjoyed a more rapid recovery than most.

"The leisure group is very much in favor," Baker added. "It's a very low-interest-rate environment and there's attractive financing, should [PBH] choose to go the route of monetizing in public markets."

Baker pointed to the high valuations others in the space have been attracting. Brunswick Corp. has seen its shares advance about 53 percent this year. They opened at $44.53 this morning.

PBH Marine includes subsidiaries Rec Boat Holdings LLC — which builds the Four Winns, Glastron, Scarab and Wellcraft brands — and Fishing Holdings LLC, which builds Champion, Ranger, Stratos and Triton. With the exception of Triton, which was bought from Brunswick in 2010, the brands were purchased out of the Genmar bankruptcy in 2009.

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