Sea Ray for sale
The American group Brunswick, world leader in yachting, announced on December 5, 2017 the launch of its Sea Ray powerboat brand. The announced objective is to finalize by mid-2018 the sale of Sea Ray, which the group acquired in 1986. The Meridian brand, unused for several years, is also on sale.
Refocusing on the outboard
The possibility of a sale of Sea Ray had been discussed for several months. The group's results in recent years have shown a lower activity of large boats and inboard motor boats marketed by Sea Ray compared to the outboard sector, which is the mainstay of the Brunswick group, as explained by its president Mark Schwabero, "This decision was made after careful consideration and reflects the evolution of Sea Ray's contribution to our marine brand portfolio."
Positive for the brand
Basile Camus, Sea Ray's regional manager for Europe, contacted by BoatIndustry, sees the sale as an opportunity for the brand. "The Brunswick group does most of its business in outboard engines and spare parts. The Sea Ray boats, of large size, inboard, were less in line with the group's strategy of refocusing on a transom strategy. A sale now with the brand awareness and the strength of the distribution network is rather positive. The new owner will want to relaunch the brand. I have not felt any concern from the dealers or customers I met on the Nautic, who have been used to this type of sale since the crisis. We're talking about a buyout, not a bankruptcy."
Many potential candidates
Many names of potential candidates have been circulating since the announcement of the launch of Sea Ray. None of them have officially indicated their interest. "The brand is likely to interest many Americans, but also European shipyards that would like to enter the overseas market. The announcement of the sale is recent and I personally have no information on the possible candidates," explains Basile Camus.