Sealine sold to US investors

Sealine sold to US private equity company for an undisclosed sum

have been sold for an undisclosed sum to a US private equity company.

The Kidderminster-based boatbuilder was bought last night by the Oxford Investment Group after weeks of secret negotiations with parent company Brunswick.

The new owners are a group of California-based private investors, who specialise in buying up manufacturing companies in the US, Europe and China with a view to “adding long term value for shareholders, management and employees”.

As part of the deal they have also bought the rights to the Guernsey range of lobster boats, launched by Brunswick in 2008, which they plan to build alongside the existing range of Sealine boats in Kidderminster.

Guernsey 29

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No details of the financial transactions have been released but MBY was told that the deal leaves Sealine debt free and in a strong position to focus on developing its own range of 35-60ft sportscruisers and flybridge motoryachts. The employees were informed of the deal this morning.

The announcement comes just days before the company is due to launch its new SC42 and C48 models at the Cannes and Southampton boat shows.

Sealine’s current managing director Chris O’Connor will stay with Brunswick, while the Oxford Investment Group have installed James Bursey in his place.

Canadian-born Bursey is a veteran of the marine industry having previously headed up Neptunus Yachts in Ontario.

Selwyn Isakow, chairman of the Oxford Investment Group, commented: “We have been looking to enter the leisure marine sector for some years and it was important for us to find the right business. Sealine has produced some world beating boats in the last five years and their success, with a rejuvenated brand in a difficult market, is a fantastic story.”

Selwyn together with fellow investor Conrad Prebys (a successful property devsloper from San Diego), plan to expand Sealine’s international presence and will be looking to add other marine brands to their portfolio.

Sealine have been loss-making over the last few years due to the worldwide drop in demand for luxury boats as well as ongoing investment in new models and manufacturing facilities.

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