Brunswick acquires Harris-Kayot

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Boating industry giant Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC) has acquired yet another boat builder to “fill the white space” in its boat brand line-up.

Brunswick has purchased Harris-Kayot boat company, with annual sales of about $35 million, from Bentley Industries of Columbia, S.C., it reported in a statement this morning.

This news comes only about three months after Bentley Industries reported that it had acquired Harris-Kayot “to expand even further into pontoons and open the deckboat and runabout category to Bentley Industries.”

Harris-Kayot, which will remain based in Fort Wayne, Ind., will become part of the Brunswick Boat Group’s Freshwater Group of brands. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Harris-Kayot, which was founded in 1946, builds pontoons, fiberglass runabouts and deckboats. The Harris brand will advance Brunswick’s presence in the pontoon category, a market segment among the fastest growing in the boating industry, as well as complement Brunswick’s entire product portfolio with the Kayot runabout and deckboat product lines, according to Dustan E. McCoy, president of the Brunswick Boat Group.

“A high-end product, Harris will help us continue to fill out the white space by complementing our offerings in the pontoon segment, enabling us to attract and satisfy a wider range of boaters,” McCoy stated. “In addition, the Kayot product line-up offers unique niche opportunities in the runabout and deckboat segments.”

McCoy also noted that “the company also shares Brunswick’s passion for fine design, innovation and fresh thinking.”

The current management team will remain in place at Harris- Kayot, and James M. “Jimmy” Poiry has been appointed president.

“As with other recent acquisitions, our initial focus will be on quickly and effectively integrating these operations into the Brunswick Boat Group,” McCoy said. “We will focus immediately on growing the business, solidifying our dealer network and ensuring flawless quality and execution.”

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