In a deal combining two of the leading boat dealers in North America, Singleton Marine Group and Legendary Marine are joining forces.
Legendary was the 2012 and 2013 Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer of the Year, and has four locations on the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama. Singleton, with 11 locations in the southeast, has been ranked in the top 10 for several years, ranking as high as No. 3.
Along with Phil Dill Boats and SMG Wake Houston, two dealerships already owned by Singleton, the companies are forming the new, Atlanta-based OneWater Marine Holdings, LLC. All of the locations will continue to operate under their existing names.
There were several factors that made the merger attractive, Austin Singleton, CEO of the new OneWater Marine Holdings, told Boating Industry.
“If you take the footprint that we both have, look at the areas we’re pulling from, we complement each other well, but the majority of our revenues are from different segments of the market,” he said.
Combining Singleton’s strength in freshwater boats with Legendary’s strength in saltwater allows the new company to cover every segment of the retail market, Singleton said.
The companies’ strengths and weaknesses match, he added – most notably, Legendary’s service department and Singleton’s strength in used boat sales.
“From a service standpoint, nobody does it better than they do,” he said. “I’d say the same thing about us when it comes to pre-owned.”
The new company will be headquartered in Atlanta, with Singleton as CEO and Singleton Marine managing partner Anthony Aisquith as the chief operating officer of the new venture, leading day-to-day operations.
Legendary Marine managing partner Fred Pace has retired, but the rest of the management team is staying in place there.
“There’s great value at the management level across the board there,” Singleton said.
OneWater Marine Holdings plans to continue aggressively expanding in the future. With many dealer principals nearing retirement age without a solid exit strategy, the opportunity is ripe for acquisitions, Singleton said.
“It might be an exit strategy for a more mature principal,” he said. “It could be an opportunity for somebody to come along with us to participate in something that could be big.”