Novis Marine gets new ownership

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio – Novis Marine Ltd. has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its assets and those of several affiliated companies to Grand River Investments, a private equity group based in Cleveland, Novis said in a press release this week.

Novis Marine manufactures the Tartan and C&C sailboat brands, and also builds carbon-fiber yacht spars under the Novis Spars brand.

“It’s time to turn my attention to some other opportunities,” said Bill Ross, who led the company for nearly 20 years.

Grand River Investments appointed J. Hunter Banbury to the position of president and CEO of the company. In anticipation of closing, Banbury has already assumed those roles at Novis Marine.

The Grand River group plans to make a multimillion dollar investment into Novis’s product line and marketing programs.

“This company is ready for both product line expansion and dramatic growth in international sales,” Banbury said.

Novis Marine will offer a 60-foot model and possibly a 57-foot model of its Tartan line of cruising boats. The company will continue upgrades to the C&C line and explore the open-class racing market.

The company also plans to expand its presence in the carbon fiber component market, providing spars to other boatbuilders and creating new products.

Tim Jackett, Novis Marine’s chief operating officer and chief designer, will continue with the company in his current role. Ross will remain with the company during the transition.

Banbury holds MBA and law degrees from Cornell University. Previously, he was a senior executive for a private equity firm that specialized in complex manufacturing, serving as CEO in several of that company’s holdings. The firm grew from $300 million to $3 billion in assets during his tenure.

Under Ross’s leadership, Novis Marine became the first U.S. production boat manufacturer to employ epoxy-based laminates throughout its entire product line, and the first to build its own carbon fiber spars. The company also rebuilt the C&C yacht brand.

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