Polaris enters boating industry with Boat Holdings, LLC acquisition

Polaris Industries Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Boat Holdings, LLC, a boat manufacturer owned by the Vogel family, management and Balmoral Funds, in an all-cash transaction valued at a net present value of approximately $805 million.

Polaris also expects that approximately $100 million NPV of future net tax benefits will accrue to the combined company.

When adjusted for the net tax benefit of $100 million, the transaction is valued at approximately $705 million, the company stated in a press release Wednesday morning.

“We started looking at Boat Holdings in early 2017,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Industries Inc. chairman and CEO during a conference call discussing the acquisition.

Wine added: “We’ve been looking at the marine space for four or five years. We look for great products, great brands, and they have all three.”

The 2017 Boat Holdings EBITDA multiple including the expected net tax benefits is approximately 9.5 times. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Boat Holdings is the largest manufacturer of pontoon boats in the U.S., one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the marine industry.

With a full offering of pontoon, deck and cruiser boats, Boat Holdings’ four recognized brands: Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane and Rinker, are strategically positioned with over 200 base models across a range of price points and fully-custom built options.

Boat Holdings leverages an asset-light manufacturing model, and offers boats through a robust network of dealers primarily in the United States and Canada.

In 2017, Boat Holdings generated approximately $560 million in sales.

“Boat Holdings is renowned for innovation and quality and we are excited to have them become part of our portfolio of industry-leading powersports vehicles. This transaction epitomizes our disciplined growth strategy of entering attractive markets where we can establish and extend our leadership position. In addition to market share leadership,” Win said.

Boat Holdings expands Polaris’ footprint in the recreational outdoors market, commanding more of consumers’ discretionary spending, he added.

“Our product lineup will offer options to be enjoyed on the roads, trails, sand, dirt, snow and water,” Wine said. “With their passion to create premium products and experiences, Boat Holdings is a strong cultural fit with Polaris as well, sharing our commitment to quality, innovation, safety, flexibility and efficiency. Further, Boat Holdings’ long-term relationships with its national dealer network speaks to the brand’s strength with both dealers and consumers.”

Following the closing of the transaction, Boat Holdings will operate as a distinct business unit reporting to Bob Mack, president of global adjacent markets and senior vice president of corporate development and strategy at Polaris.

Boat Holdings will maintain its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Elkhart, Ind.

“Over the past 20 years, Boat Holdings has established premier brands synonymous with innovation and quality through its broad portfolio of boats, unmatched dealer network and commitment to our customers. With similar cultures, both businesses share the same passion for product and people, which has driven both our and their long-term success. As a trailblazer in its own right, Polaris is the perfect partner as we look to drive continued expansion and growth in this attractive segment,” said Boat Holdings Chairman Steve Vogel.

The transaction, which has been approved by the Polaris Board of Directors, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the third quarter of 2018.

“We look forward to Boat Holdings’ best-in-class management team and skilled and experienced workforce joining the Polaris family. Together, we believe we can increase shareholder value driven by ongoing innovation and growth, as we further leverage their unique position within the large and growing boating industry,” Wine concluded.

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