NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Hatteras/CABO, a major yacht-building business in Eastern Carolina, has officially been sold to a company in Pennsylvania.
An affiliate of Versa Capital Management, LLC, a private equity investment firm in Philadelphia, announced Tuesday that it has acquired Hatteras/CABO from Brunswick Corporation. Purchase terms were not released.
"It's been a long time coming," John Ward, CEO of Hatteras said. "[It's been] a lot of hard work, but I'm excited for the employees, I'm excited for the brand, and I'm excited for the community."
Hatteras/CABO, based in New Bern, builds convertible sportfishing and luxury motor yachts. The company employs about 275 people in New Bern and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, down from about 1,500 employees after a series of layoffs.
According to Versa Capital, it plans to keep Hatteras/CABO CEO John Ward, who has 24 years of marine experience. Virtually all Hatteras/CABO employees will be retained, Versa Capital stated.
"We are very excited to become part of the Versa team, given their financial and operational expertise," Mr. Ward said. "The economic downturn affected the entire marine industry. We are proud that Versa has put their confidence into our iconic brands, and that the firm shares our belief in American manufacturing."
"Both Hatteras and CABO are cornerstone American brands in their respective luxury marine markets, and both have been affected during the extended economic downturn," said Gregory L. Segall, CEO of Versa Capital. "Working with the company's seasoned management team, we see great opportunity to build value in these businesses while retaining the expertise in engineering and eastern seaboard production that has given Hatteras/CABO their well-earned reputations as premier yacht and sportfishing vessel builders."