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Zodiac Recreational has been sold to a private investment firm in the US.

Maybe it’s time for a new dinghy… A US based firm has just picked up the RIB manufacturer from a French based company. OpenGate Capital has acquired the French RIB manufacturer for an undisclosed sum of cash, giving yet another positive market move to the marine industry.  All of us at usedboatyard.com are thrilled to see a former marquis trade name return to the lime light in order to make the US marine market even more desirable.  The Zodiac brand has always been a real player in the RIB market, but with fewer players than there were in the past decade, this move stands ready to push the Zodiac name back to prominence.

OpenGate Capital, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, specialises in the acquisition and operation of businesses seeking revitalisation through growth and operational improvements. This is the company’s first marine acquisition.

“The Zodiac family of brands is iconic in its representation of quality, safety and reliability,” says Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital’s founder, managing partner and CEO. “We couldn’t be more pleased to mark our first marine industry acquisition with Zodiac, the ultimate symbol of performance.”

Zodiac Marine & Pool, parent company of Zodiac Recreational, had been looking to divest its RIB division as part of a strategy to refine and refocus its business in the military, professional, and clean water industries.

The sale is expected to be completed within 90 days, subject to regulatory approval. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

OpenGate Capital’s European partners Robert Lezec and Julien Lagreze are leading the transaction, working closely with Zodiac Recreational’s existing management team to strengthen the company’s operational and financial fundamentals. They also hope to drive expansion across Europe and into other markets around the world.

Zodiac Recreational makes RIBs and inflatables under three brand names: Zodiac, Bombard and Avon. The products are distributed through a network of dealers in Europe and the US, and through importers for other select markets.

The company employs 430 people at its main operations in France as well as its facilities in Tunisia and the US.  IF you are like any of us at usedboatyard.com, you know this a major move in an industry which needs a boost in the right direction.

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