Malibu Boats, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with S2 Yachts, Inc. (S2) to acquire the assets of Pursuit Boats for a total consideration of $100 million.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth calendar quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. Malibu will fund the transaction with cash on hand and a borrowing under an incremental revolving credit facility to be added to its existing credit facility.
Pursuit, located in Fort Pierce, Fla., is a member of the saltwater outboard fishing boat market through its offering of 15 models of offshore, dual console and center console boats.
Pursuit’s market position has been established over its 41-year history through a reputation for superior quality, performance and customer service. For the trailing 12 months ended June 30, 2018, Pursuit generated approximately $124 million in net sales.
“As a leader in the saltwater outboard fishing segment, Pursuit is an incredible addition to the Malibu family," said Jack Springer, Chief Executive Officer of Malibu Boats. "The Pursuit brand maintains a strong reputation for luxurious appointments, innovation, and premium quality, and this highly complementary business creates strong strategic opportunities to enhance product development across our portfolio of brands. Together, we have an opportunity to broaden our outboard offering, while leveraging the manufacturing and design expertise of the respective teams to continue to deliver the premium products customers expect."
Over the past 41 years, Pursuit Boats has established a premium brand through its dealer network and longstanding commitment to its customers, said Tom Slikkers, chief executive officer of S2 Yachts.
"As a trailblazer in its own right, Malibu is an ideal partner, as we maintain similar cultures with a shared passion for product and people, which has driven our collective long-term success," Slikkers said. "This transaction is as much about the right partner to steward Pursuit’s future as it is about the sale price. Malibu is that right partner."
The Slikkers family will continue to own and operate Tiara Yachts and Tiara Sport under the S2 Yachts umbrella.
The center console market is growing fast, and it’s getting larger and larger, Springer said during a conference call Wednesday morning.
“Pursuit stands up very well against competitors such as Boston Whaler and Grady-White," he said. "We [Malibu] can create innovations that other people cannot. We’ll put that competitive advantage up against anybody else out there.”
Pursuit's saltwater fishing market demographic is very similar to Malibu and Cobalt's demographic, Springer added. "These boaters have a passion for what they are doing. Consumer confidence and an low unemployment rate will factor into that particular segment.”
Springer said there are additional changes that could be made to Pursuit's product line. "Sizing is one thing that we have to consider moving forward," he said. "Do we have the right ranges? There’s going to be a lot of in-depth discussion over the next six months about how we’re going to bring the Pursuit brand to the market.”