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Bass Pro Shops buys iconic fishing boat brands

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Johnny Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops. The retail chain has bought Fishing Holdings LLC.

Bass Pro Shops has bought three of North America’s most iconic recreational fishing boat brands.

The outdoor sports retailer has announced that it has acquired Fishing Holdings LLC, the manufacturer of Ranger Boats, Triton and Stratos from Platinum Equity.

“This partnership brings added long-term stability for both companies and for the dealer networks that provide customers with quality boats at exceptional values,” said Bass Pro Shops CEO, Johnny Morris. The purchase also creates another connection between Morris and fellow conservationist and dedicated fisherman, Forrest Wood, the Ranger Boats founder.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Forrest many years and I deeply respect him and his family that founded and built a solid performing business with excellent products.

“It is also important that our companies share comparable cultures and values and are dedicated to manufacturing quality products in the USA.”

On completion of the deal, Fishing Holdings will continue to operate under its existing management at its headquarters in Flippin, Arkansas, a two-hour drive from Bass Pro Shops’ home in Springfield.

“We are impressed with the company’s leadership team and performance and look forward to welcoming them to the Bass Pro Shops family,” added Morris.

“We are fortunate to partner with Bass Pro Shops, which understands the industry and our brands,” sad Fishing Holdings President, Randy Hopper. “This new alliance will provide synergies that will strengthen our independent retailer base and ensure our focus on fishing.”

Forrest Wood added: “I am excited for Ranger and the team at Fishing Holdings. Johnny’s organisation is deeply rooted in fishing and dedicated to conservation. He’s made a huge contribution to our sport and I believe this is a real opportunity to better serve so many dealers and loyal customers around the country.”

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Platinum Equity acquired Ranger Boats and Stratos as a larger portfolio of boat brands in February 2010 from Genmar Holdings Inc., through a transaction conducted under the US Bankruptcy Code. Triton was added in July of the same year.

“Nearly five years ago we pledged to provide the resources and support necessary to help the company grow and evolve, while respecting the heritage and deep roots in fishing that make it so special,” said Platinum Equity Partner, Louis Samson. “We achieved our goals and I am very proud of all that has been accomplished during our stewardship.”

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