Disposal of Sea Ray by the end of June 2018
The American group Brunswick, the world leader in yachting, announced in December 2017 its intention to sell the Sea Ray brand, whose specialisation in large scale inboard propulsion pleasure craft was moving away from its core business. After receiving about forty applications, 8 files were retained by management in March 2018. New Brunswick then selected two finalists. According to information obtained by BoatIndustry, the choice of the buyer would now be made. Final technical negotiations are underway and the name of the new owner of the Sea Ray brand is expected to be made public by June 28, 2018. The imminence of the sale is confirmed by certain details such as the change of email address from brunswick.com to searay.com.
A good image but declining results
The context of the sale of Sea Ray is delicate in economic terms. Although its boats are well known, the company has had difficulty remaining profitable in recent years. Its acquisition by the Brunswick group from its founder Connie Ray in 1986, and the subsequent acquisitions of other yacht yards, had helped to create the world's leading yachting group, a position it could lose after the sale. In 2017, Sea Ray's sales were $387.6 million, for an operating loss of $17.2 million.
Restructuring of Brunswick
The sale of Sea Ray is part of a reorganization of the Brunswick group. The marine branch was separated in 2018 from the rest of its fitness activities. The bowling and pool divisions were sold in 2015. While the predominance of outboard powered boats is confirmed by the latest American statistics, Brunswick has chosen to focus on its Mercury engine production subsidiary and its specialized boat brands, such as Bay Liner, Quicksilver or Boston Whaler. This strategy seems to satisfy investors, as the Brunswick share price reached its annual high on June 6, 2018, as the sale of Sea Ray approaches.