Winnebago to Buy Indiana-based Pontoon Maker for $255M
Established in 1958, Winnebago is technically headquartered in Forest City, Iowa, but it has operated an executive office in Eden Prairie since 2016, when former Toro Co. exec Mike Happe signed on as president and CEO.
For most of its history, Winnebago has focused on motorhomes. That changed in 2018 with the company’s purchase of recreational boat maker Chris-Craft. At the time, Happe said the marine market was a “significant runway for growth.”
Evidently, Winnebago execs are still banking on more growth in the marine industry. “As the demand for products by outdoor enthusiasts continues to grow, an expanded marine platform will enable Winnebago Industries to grow its customer reach and further balance its overall portfolio and revenue profile beyond recreational vehicles,” the company said in a press release issued Tuesday.
If certain financial goals are met, Winnebago will sweeten the deal: Barletta ownership could get an additional $15 million in Winnebago stock “upon the achievement of performance milestones at the end of calendar 2021,” the release said. Barletta owners could get another $50 million in cash if additional milestones are met in 2022 and 2023.
“The acquisition of Barletta significantly expands Winnebago Industries’ presence in the strong and growing marine market by acquiring the fastest-growing brand within one of the most rapidly-growing boating segments,” Happe said.
Barletta, which is not publicly traded, logged revenue of $120.6 million in 2020, according to the release. The company expects to nearly double that this year. For its part, Winnebago, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, reported net revenue of $2.36 billion in its 2020 fiscal year.
In Minnesota, Winnebago currently employs 100 people. The company has a total headcount of 6,500 employees.