September 1, 2013

blogger - New Owners

It is always good news to see a new buyer for a builder which went down, more so when the brand they purchased represents a following and an important history to boating in general. 
This Summer we had two important brands who found new ownership; Sealine who closed its doors past Spring with Hanse Group taking the reigns now and what should be also a production move in Germany, and Hatteras Cabo owned by Brunswick since 2006 and past month was purchased by Navis HCY of Philadelphia based Versa Capital.
Sealine's move in my opinion should be one of success considering what the Hanse Group have done with past purchased brands, i.e. a success.  Look at Fjord or Moody as examples.  Sealine have also that image which sits very well with what Hanse offers from all its brand. Is it not the minimal boutique in production boat building, and Sealine definitely went this direction since the SC35 was launched in 2007 and the models which followed. 
The Hatteras Cabo move is something entirely different as in the past private equity investment first showed both sides of the coin of what they can do to great boating brands.  So far there is no news about the agreement between Brunswick and Versa, but what we know is that production stays in New Bern, North Carolina for both the brands, and that all workers shall be retained.  That so far sounds a good start! 
Hatteras represents a core important History element of US boat building and a huge following, and while today it only builds 54 feet plus, old smaller models have an unlimited highly dedicated fan base. 
The difference here in the purchases done above is that Hanse has that important boat building experience it needs to survive the hard times, and Hatteras Cabo owners are in new waters for them.  It will be interesting to see how the second will fair after some years.