The acquisition comes just weeks after MasterCraft Boat Holdings, who have owned the NauticStar brand since 2017, announced they were discontinuing production and were actively looking for “strategic alternatives” for the longstanding brand.
That process yielded quick results, as IMG swooped to add NauticStar to its growing portfolio less than six weeks after the MasterCraft announcement.
This marks IMG’s foray into more recreational-oriented boats — their other brands are predominantly performance focused with Fountain, Donzi, and Baja in their lineup. NauticStar currently offers an array of deck boats, bay boats, and hybrid boat designs. They also offer two offshore fishing models – the 24 XS and 28 XS.
All of their existing brands are based out of North Carolina, while NauticStar maintains its manufacturing facility in Amory, Mississippi.
In a company statement, IMG Managing Partner Fred Ross stated “We moved at breakneck speed to acquire NauticStar. From the time we got wind of a possible deal with previous owner MasterCraft, it took less than 45 days to put it all together.”
“This was a high priority for IMG,” continued Ross. “NauticStar has an experienced manufacturing team, a solid dealer network, and an outstanding line of boats, Their 19 boat 2023 fleet extends from 18- to 28-feet which fits perfectly with Fountain and Donzi that rank as top tier brands in the 32- to 43-foot size range.”
NauticStar 249 Bay
Despite the turmoil with NauticStar, the company is generating stable fiscal results, having posted sales of over $70 million last year with a large network of over 100 dealers including One Water and MarineMax. As of mid-August 2022, NauticStar maintained stable performance on the NASDAQ, with a price of $26.61 per share, a 2022 low of $20.25 and a high of $29.69.
When asked about IMG’s future plans for expansion or additional acquisitions, Ross didn’t provide specifics but did say, “Stay tuned. We’re not done yet.”