Malibu Boats, parent company of Pursuit Boats, acquires Maverick Boat Group for $150 million

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Malibu Boats, parent company of Pursuit Boats, acquires Maverick Boat Group for $150 million

Malibu Boats has acquired Maverick Boat Group in a deal that affects some of the largest boatbuilders not only on the Treasure Coast, but in the U.S.

CEO Jack Springer announced the deal Tuesday to investors of the Tennessee-based Malibu Boats, which is the parent company of Fort Pierce-based Pursuit Boats. Malibu paid $150 million in cash in the deal.

Springer said he intends to expand Maverick’s Fort Pierce manufacturing plant “sooner rather than later” and will retain Maverick CEO Scott Deal, who founded the company in 1984 and lives in Vero Beach.

Maverick manufactures four lines: Maverick and Hewes flats fishing boats; Pathfinder bay boats; and Cobia center consoles ranging from 17 to 35 feet in length. Pursuit manufactures center consoles and dual consoles between 23 and 42 feet in length.

Malibu, a ski-boat manufacturer, acquired Pursuit in fall 2018.

More:Pursuit Boats will protect scrub jays

Boatbuilding expansion

In the past two years, each company has completed expansion projects enabling them to essentially double their production abilities. Both companies have added hundreds of workers since 2018. Maverick employs 427 and Pursuit employs nearly 500.

Pursuit broke ground in fall 2019 and with an estimated investment of over $10 million, opened its new 182,000-square-foot building two weeks early in June, giving the boatbuilder a combined 432,000 square feet of manufacturing space on St. Lucie Boulevard, near the Treasure Coast International Airport and Business Park.

Less than a quarter-mile down the street, Maverick spent $11 million on a new 127,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, where it builds its Cobia and larger Pathfinder models. The building was designed to be able to easily double in size and manufacturing space.

Coronavirus pandemic

Both companies reported strong sales throughout 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic. Pursuit CEO Bruce Thompson said the company had a brief pause for 2-4 weeks while it constructed safe working zones and social distancing protocols inside its facilities, but resumed operation soon thereafter.

In October, Pursuit debuted two new center consoles — the S428 and S378 sport models — just ahead of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

“As a strong, recognized player in the center console and bay boat category, Maverick is a fantastic addition to our portfolio of industry-leading brands and underscores the strength of our M&A strategy,” Springer said in a statement. “Maverick is highly complementary to Pursuit, expanding our saltwater outboard offerings with a strong focus in length segments under 30 feet. In particular, Maverick will allow us to not only leverage strong growth momentum, but also increase production capacity and seize previously untapped demand. We see an amazing opportunity ahead of us as we leverage the strengths of Malibu and Maverick to continue to deliver innovative boats to our customers, while driving long-term growth and profitability for our shareholders.”

More:Boat sales are up, but supply-chain issues means waiting

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