Brunswick to sell MarineMax shares?

CLEARWATER, Fla. - MarineMax, Inc. today filed a shelf registration on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission covering the possible future sale from time to time by MarineMax of up to 1.5 million shares of its common stock, and providing for the resale from time to time by one stockholder of up to 1,861,200 shares of its common stock, the company said in a release today.

That one stockholder mentioned, of course, is Brunswick Corp., MarineMax's largest supplier of recreational boats and yachts. The shares were included pursuant to a registration agreement between Brunswick and MarineMax.

“All I think it means is that Brunswick is strongly considering their ownership stake in MarineMax,” Tim Conder, vice president of A.G. Edwards & Sons of St. Louis, Mo., said in a phone interview this morning. “They could use it for corporate purposes or to fund acquisitions. I don't think it means that Brunswick and MarineMax are having any difficulties. Both work very well together.”

Conder, an industry analyst who specializes in the recreational market, said the selling of these stocks could benefit both companies. While Brunswick could use the money to continue on its much publicized acquisition path, the sale would give MarineMax more shares and would provide more liquidity in its stock.

“If Brunswick owns the shares, they're not going to be out there trading them every day,” Conder said. “If they sell their shares, then they'll be held in the hands of individuals who can trade them more freely than insiders.”

Brunswick said in a statement released this morning that “any sale of its shares … would depend on market conditions” and added that it currently intends to “use the proceeds from any such sale of the stock … for general corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions.”

A shelf registration allows a corporation to comply with registration requirements up to two years prior to a public offering of securities. With this registration on the shelf, the corporation, by simply updating regularly filed annual, quarterly and related reports to the SEC, can then go to the market as conditions become favorable with a minimum of administrative preparation.

Brunswick is holding an analyst meeting on Feb. 16, just prior to the Miami Boat Show, followed by a Mercury Marine press breakfast the following morning. Mercury plans to introduce its 135-, 150 and 175-horse, four-cylinder Verado engines at the show. - Matt Gruhn

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