Chinese boating firms are having a booming year. Here in the US, we are losing boating sales to an economic downturn resulting in negative or flat sales growth in the manufacturing divisions, not just in the boating sector, but across the broad spectrum of businesses trying to recover. Chinese investment into American-held companies are being closely scrutenized by the American public.
Ebbtide Boats has been sold to a privately held Chinese investment company, 321 Capital Partners announced on Thursday.
321 Capital Partners, which facilitated the sale announced a then-unnamed boat manufacturer’s search for acquisition candidates in January, with a few clues as to the identity of the manufacturer.
Ebbtide Boats manufacture 18- to 28-foot sport and recreational boats out of its 150,000 square-foot facility in White Bluff, Tenn., where they manufacture cuddy cabin, bowrider and deck boat models.
President and former Ebbtide owner Tommy Trabue said in a statement that selling the company was bittersweet, but recognized that the time had come to transition to a different position, stating that he was looking forward to continuing to work with the company as the future unfolds.
“Finding the right person to pass our legacy on to was extremely important to me. The new owner of Ebbtide is a Chinese businessman and entrepreneur that plans to build our brand name here in the U.S. and Canada as well as developing Ebbtide into a global brand,” Trabue said in a release. “He will strengthen the company financially and provide leadership and vision to build the company for the future. He offers an excellent opportunity for all of our employees to grow in his international organization both here and China.”
George Gong, spokesmen and president of U.S. operations for the privately held company that acquired Ebbtide, said that his company will be investing more money into improving the Tennessee facility following the acquisition, and produce more boats to meet customer requirements.
“Furthermore, we would like to promote Ebbtide as a worldwide brand supported by the manufacturing facilities in the United States and China,” Gong said in the release. “We will recruit more engineers, designers, employees to produce high quality, modern and advantaged boats.”
Ebbtide Boats has been presented with 23 awards, including Highest Customer Satisfaction awards and seven Boat of the Year awards. We, at usedboatyard.com, would encourage you to go take a test ride at your local boat dealer’s showroom to find a great boat you and your family can enjoy and bring boating back as a core American pasttime.