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Patrick Industries: Bullish on the Leisure Lifestyle

After acquiring Taco Metals and other industry suppliers in 2020, the company hints at more deals to come
Taco Metals’ wake sports rack systems are popular with a number of builders, including Malibu Boats.

Taco Metals’ wake sports rack systems are popular with a number of builders, including Malibu Boats.

Late last year, Patrick Industries completed its acquisition of Taco Metals. The deal capped a year of noteworthy transactions by the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier and manufacturer of marine accessories and components.

Michael Benedek, director of marine sales and business development for Patrick Industries, says the company expects continued growth in the RV and marine industries, among others, into 2022.

“The leisure lifestyle markets are ideally suited for a Covid and post-Covid environment due to the ability and means to provide social distancing combined with quality time with family and friends,” Benedek says. “We have seen both our leisure lifestyle, and housing and industrial markets rebound and fully recover from the Covid-related shutdowns in the second quarter, and play a key role in the overall consumer lifestyle experience.”

Benedek says Patrick Industries has combined the marine, RV and other specialty markets under a “leisure lifestyle” heading because they all let consumers enjoy the outdoors. Patrick’s acquisitions are based more on the individual company than the primary industry it supports, he adds.

Patrick acquired Marine Concepts — known for design, engineering, milling and custom fabricating — in 2017. 

Patrick acquired Marine Concepts — known for design, engineering, milling and custom fabricating — in 2017. 

Multifaceted

Patrick was founded in 1959. The company manufactures and distributes components and building products for the RV, marine and manufactured housing industries. From vinyl coatings to fully molded shower stalls to electrical components, Patrick either makes the product or partners with a business that fabricates it. Patrick operates more than 170 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the United States, Canada, China and the Netherlands, and has more than 7,700 employees worldwide. Andy Nemeth, president of the company since 2016, became chief executive officer in January 2020; he’s been with Patrick Industries since 2003.

The Taco Metals purchase brings the number of brands under the Patrick Industries banner to about 60. Taco manufactures boating products that includw rubrail systems, canvas and tower components, sportfishing equipment, outriggers, helm chairs, pedestals and specialty hardware. It supplies these products to original equipment boatbuilders and to the aftermarket. In addition to its Miami headquarters, the company has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Taco Metals’ full-year revenues in 2020 were estimated at $40 million.

Also in November, Patrick acquired Geremarie Corp., an aluminum fabricator based in Lake Zurich, Ill., that serves the commercial, industrial, marine, aerospace and defense markets. For recreational boating, the company’s best-known parts are custom wakeboard racks and water-sports towers. Geremarie’s 2020 revenues were approximately $44 million.

The Shadefin from Taco Metals can be attached to rod holders, hardtops or gunwales. 

The Shadefin from Taco Metals can be attached to rod holders, hardtops or gunwales. 

And in August 2020, Patrick completed the acquisition of Inland Plywood Co., which is based in Pontiac, Mich., and has an additional facility in Cocoa, Fla. Inland is a supplier, laminator and distributor of treated, untreated and laminated plywood and other specialty products, primarily serving the marine market, with some work in the RV and industrial segments. It had revenues of $66 million in 2020.

All three recently acquired companies will continue to operate independently at their current locations with their management teams in place.

Other acquisitions in 2020 included Maple City Woodworking Corp., SEI Manufacturing, Synergy RV Transport and Front Range Stone. While three of these four companies are primarily RV-focused, SEI Manufacturing makes towers, stainless-steel rails and other parts for the marine industry.

Patrick acquired Inland Plywood in 2020. 

Patrick acquired Inland Plywood in 2020. 

The acquisitions followed the opening in April of a Marine Design and Engineering Center at Patrick subsidiary Marine Concepts/Design Concepts in Sarasota, Fla., in the former headquarters for Wellcraft Marine. The new facility houses an array of displays for Patrick’s marine brands, as well as the engineering and design teams for Marine Concepts/Design Concepts. A potential customer can see T-tops and Biminis, stainless-steel hardware, fiberglass parts, aluminum hardware, fuel tanks, audio equipment and electrical systems in one place. A boatbuilder can also work with the design team to incorporate all the items into a new model, saving time in the design process.

Taco’s Pro Series GS-500 outrigger mount. 

Taco’s Pro Series GS-500 outrigger mount. 

The new location was inspired by a similar facility at Patrick’s Elkhart headquarters that displays the companies that service the RV, manufactured housing, and marine and industrial segments in the Midwest.

Branching Out

Taco, Geremarie and Inland Plywood all have strong foundations in the boating segment, and Benedek says that in the past year, Patrick has made “significant investments internally in our team, innovation, infrastructure and equipment to expand our production capacity and product presence.”

The benefit for the acquired companies is, in a word, resources. “We provide the opportunity for great management teams to maintain a focus and ownership on the vision and brand that has made them successful, while at the same time providing more expansive resources aligned with our cover values and customer-first culture, which can enable them to explore a broader view of what is possible in their businesses,” Benedek says.

One way to do that is by helping Taco Metals and Geremarie make inroads into the RV segment. Benedek says both companies have “complementary products and an innovative approach that provide added value and differentiation to the manufacturers and aftermarket in the RV space.”

Taco Metals manufactures a variety of outrigger poles and mounts.

Taco Metals manufactures a variety of outrigger poles and mounts.

He also says Patrick will continue to pursue acquisitions with the “right strategic partners” in the RV and marine segments. “We currently see no reason why the attractiveness of the leisure lifestyle markets should wane,” he says. 

This article was originally published in the April 2021 issue.

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