Platinum Equity seeks buyer for Ranger Boats

Platinum Equity has put Ranger Boats up for sale, three sources said.

Harris Williams is advising on the process, the sources said. Ranger Boats produces $25 million EBITDA, one of the sources said. Platinum is seeking bids of 10x, a second person said.

The auction has held a first round, which included strategic and financial sponsors, the first source said. The process has moved to the second round with bids due in October, the person said.

The process has encountered problems, the other two sources said. “It’s a great brand name in fishing boats but a steep price tag for that industry given its cyclicality and spotty history,” one of the persons said.

The first source maintains that the auction is “robust.” Both strategics and sponsors are moving to the second round, the first person said.

[contextly_sidebar id=”NhA5rMlpTAeC8Qk6uDHGyTeGUkWfpw3o”]Founded in 1968, Flippin, Arkansas-based Ranger Boats makes fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats. These include boats designed for bass, multi-species, fish ‘n play, waterfowl utility and saltwater fishing.

Platinum Equity acquired Ranger, and several other fishing and boat brands, as part of its acquisition of Genmar Holdings in 2010. Platinum bought nearly all of the assets of Genmar, which was in bankruptcy, for $70 million, according to a press report.

The Los Angeles PE firm has been active. Platinum acquired the Pressure Sensitive Materials business of Bemis Co earlier this month. Platinum, in July, sold Wheel Pros to Audax Private Equity and offloaded Rec Boat Holdings, which makes Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab boat brands, in June to Bénéteau Group. Financial terms weren’t announced.

The buyout shop led by Tom Gores is investing out of its third PE fund, which closed at $3.75 billion in September 2013. Platinum’s second fund collected $2.75 billion in 2007.

Platinum Equity Capital Partners III LP is producing a 21.72 percent average IRR and 1.3x multiple, according to information from alternative assets data provider Bison. Fund II is generating a 17.55 percent average IRR and 1.7x multiple, Bison said.

Executives at Platinum declined comment. Ranger Boat did not respond to requests for comment. Harris Williams could not be reached for comment.

Photo courtesy of Ranger Boats