Earlier this week, Winnebago Industries, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Barletta Pontoon Boats (Barletta). Barletta anticipates the acquisition, which is expected to close in the Fall of 2021, will allow the manufacturer to further accelerate its growth, expand their offerings, and gain greater share of the pontoon boat market segment.
On Monday, July 20, the day of the announcement, Barletta president and founder Bill Fenech and Winnebago CEO and president Mike Happe hosted an all-employee meeting to build excitement and celebrate the announcement, and answer any questions Barletta’s teams may have had.
“When we started the company in 2017, we had a very simple goal,” stated Fenech, “Let’s start a great company, with great people, building a great product and take care of our customers like no one else in the industry. What we’ve done over the past 4 years is exactly that. At the same time, we have so much more to do. In the end though, we wouldn’t be where we are today without our extended Barletta family, those employed at Barletta. From the top to the bottom, they are the “secret-sauce” in Barletta’s success.”
While the two companies will operate separately going forward, the acquisition should allow for synergies to directly affect the workforce including improved work conditions, improved benefits, and stock opportunities that would allow for a financial stake in Winnebago’s and Barletta’s combined success.
During the meeting, it was also announced that at the close of the deal, every current Barletta employee will receive an appreciation bonus for their hard work and dedication from Bill and his wife, Kristin Fenech. Depending on tenure, each employee will receive between a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000. To receive the bonus, the employee had to be employed as of the July 20 announcement and in good standing at the time of close later this fall.
“It’s a big thank you and a very small token of our appreciation,” stated Fenech, “and the absolute right thing to do. We want our people to know that we appreciate all they have done. We want them to be happy, healthy, and proud of what they do and where they work. With Winnebago’s support, we hope to do more in the future. We’ve always strived to be an employer of choice - this acquisition only strengthens our position to be just that.”