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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 19, 2019 1 month ago

Area boat retailer makes splashy acquisition in Texas

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MarineMax buys Sail & Ski Center, a leading North American dealership.

CLEARWATER — MarineMax, a Clearwater-based recreational boat and yacht retailer, has purchased Sail & Ski Center, a Texas boat dealership founded in 1969 that operates in Austin and San Antonio.

According to a press release, Sail & Ski Center is one of the top 10 dealerships in North America, with 2018 revenue in excess of $40 million, driven largely by its water- and snow-sports accessory business, and has twice been recognized by Boating Industry Magazine as the continent’s top boat dealer.

MarineMax acquired the entirety of Sail & Ski’s assets but shareholders Buzz Watkins and Doug Malone will continue to operate the business and receive an initial cash payment at closing, with the possibility of additional performance-based payments. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed in the release.

"We are excited to strengthen and enhance our presence in the large and important Texas market by adding the Sail & Ski operations to our existing Texas business in the Dallas and Houston markets,” MarineMax President and CEO Brett McGill states in the release. “Buzz Watkins and Doug Malone, the operators of the business, are well respected in our industry and we are very proud to welcome them and the Sail & Ski team to the MarineMax family.”

Watkins adds, via the release, “We have been long-time industry partners of MarineMax and have watched and admired their accomplishments over the years. We are excited about joining the MarineMax team. We believe access to their exclusive brands will further drive our growth. This strategic combination better enables Sail & Ski to grow and take advantage of new opportunities in the future.”

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