Brunswick Corp. selling Sea Ray Boats – News – Daytona Beach … – Daytona Beach News

Flagler boat plant employs more than 400 people

Flagler County’s Sea Ray Boats plant is getting new owners.

In a media release Tuesday from Sea Ray’s parent company, Mettawa, Illinois-based Brunswick Corp., officials said a sale is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.

Brunswick chairman and CEO Mark Schwabero said in the release the decision to sell off Sea Ray, one of 15 brands that make up the company’s Boat Group, “was made after careful consideration and reflects the evolving contribution that the Sea Ray brand has made to our marine portfolio.”

Brunswick has hired Lazard asset management company to act as its investment banker for the transaction, the release states.

Helga van Eckert, executive director of the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity, said local officials will continue to work with the boat builder, which is one of the county’s largest private employers with a current workforce of more than 400 people.

“As stated by Brunswick CEO Mark Schwabero, Sea Ray Boats is a very strong brand with a great reputation,” she said. “We’ve enjoyed working with the current owners and look forward to transitioning to the new owners and familiarizing them with Flagler County and our talented workforce.”

In Brunswick’s third quarter earnings report, released Oct. 26, the company said net earnings were $79 million, down from $85.3 million during the same period in 2016. Net sales in the Boat Segment, which incldes Sea Ray, were up slightly for the quarter, but company officials said Hurricane Irma impacted sales of products manufactured in Florida.

Schwabero said during the sale process, “we will continue to diligently manage Sea Ray by executing its business and product plans in support of our dealers and customers.”

In a conference call Tuesday afternoon, Schwabero said the sale process has commenced and that the remaining brands in the company’s marine segment “will continue to be important elements of a robust, balanced marine business.” In addition to the Sea Ray plant in Flagler County, Brunswick operates Boston Whaler and Brunswick Commercial and Governmental Products manufacturing facilities in Edgewater.

Sea Ray Boats laid off 90 people at its Flagler County manufacturing facility in July and another 130 people were temporarily furloughed. The actions affected about 40 percent of the 560 employees at the boat plant off Roberts Road and were the first layoffs at the Flagler County facility since 2012 when 65 workers were laid off.

According to Sea Ray spokesman Dan Kubera, the Flagler County plant currently employs 440 workers.

Tim Singley, manager of the Flagler County boat plant, said employees were informed of the sale earlier Tuesday.

“We just sat down with our entire population in Palm Coast and they are trying to do that across all our facilities,” Singley said. “We will have further communications meetings as the week progresses.”


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