Lippert Components acquires pontoon furniture business

Lippert Components continued its expansion into marine components.

Lippert Components continued its expansion into marine components by buying the business and certain assets of the pontoon furniture manufacturing operation of Highwater Marine LLC, an Ekhart, Ind.-based boat manufacturer.

Lippert, a subsidiary of RV supplier Drew Industries Inc., paid $10 million for the operation.

The boat brands that comprise Highwater's businesses were recently bought by Elkhart-based pontoon boat manufacturer Bennington through its acquisition of Nautic Global Group.

"Building on our August 2015 acquisition of Signature Seating in Fort Wayne, Ind., this acquisition will further expand our marine furniture capacity by adding the Highwater manufacturing facility in Elkhart to the LCI footprint," said Drew Industries president Scott Mereness in a statement.

Revenue of the marine furniture business acquired from Highwater Marine for the 12 months that ended in December was estimated to be $20 million.

“We are excited to partner with Bennington on the transition of its Highwater furniture business and to strengthen our position in the marine furniture market,” Mereness said.

The company paid the $10 million at closing from borrowings under its $100 million line of credit. Additionally, the parties entered into a five-year supply agreement as part of the transaction. After funding the acquisition, Drew “remains well-positioned to take advantage of other investment opportunities,” the company said.

“Strategically and culturally, our Highwater furniture division will be in great hands at Lippert,” Bennington CEO Jake Vogel said. “We are entrusting our employees and our furniture supply business with a company that both specializes in furniture manufacturing and is a wonderful cultural fit with our business. We are excited about this long-term strategic relationship with our new partner, Lippert Components.”

Shannon Angle, a 15-year veteran of LCI’s furniture operation, under the direction of Lippert Interiors vice president Ryan Smith, will add this division to his responsibilities.

“Our combined furniture team is talented and innovative, as well as experienced in managing growth, and we look forward to long-term success,” Mereness said. “We estimate that the market size for pontoon boat furniture is approximately $125 million, and we expect this acquisition to be immediately accretive to Drew’s earnings.”