Courtesy Yellowfin Yachts
Warbird Marine Holdings, formed by EagleTree Capital to invest in category-leading boat builders and managed by industry veteran John Dorton, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Yellowfin Yachts. Yellowfin will be a separately managed sister company to Invincible Boat Company, which Warbird acquired in 2019. With this acquisition, Warbird will become the largest and best-capitalized designer and builder of specially designed offshore fishing boats.
Yellowfin was founded by Wylie Nagler in 1998 and was a pioneer in the category of premium center consoles. For the past 23 years, Yellowfin has established itself as the most recognized brand in its segment and synonymous with the saltwater lifestyle.
“We are excited to add Yellowfin to our Warbird platform. Yellowfin is at the top of their segment in both product range and brand prestige,” said John Dorton, CEO of Warbird. “The yellowfin team will remain in place in their headquarters in Sarasota with Wylie Nagler as president. Wylie will continue to focus on the products and relationships that have made Yellowfin a legendary brand. “
“At Yellowfin, we have always strived to build the best boat using the best materials – the best hardware, the best systems,” said Wylie Nagler, founder and president of Yellowfin Yachts. “Teaming up with Warbird and John Dorton gives us the scope and resources for the Warbird platform without changing Yellowfin’s DNA or our relentless focus on quality.”
Courtesy Yellowfin Yachts
Warbird will invest in Yellowfin’s facilities, people and new product development – the same book that has made Invincible one of the fastest growing brands in the industry. Yellowfin and Invincible will continue to be administered independently.
“Both the Yellowfin and Invincible brands have their own personalities and design philosophies, and we intend to keep it that way,” Dorton said.
Mr. Dorton stated, “the center console category is divided between volume builders who can not deliver the customization, quality and performance that the premium buyer demands, and small prestige brands that build quality boats but lack the scope and investment to become truly state-of-the-art.”
“By combining the resources of these two large companies, Warbird will be able to accelerate innovation, invest in quality and customer service, expand capacity and ensure timely delivery to our valued customers and distributors,” said Dorton. “Our goal is to set a new bar for the premium center console segment – world-class boats with a complete customer experience that matches.”
Jones Day provided legal advice to Warbird Marine Holdings. Barrett Evans of Montecito Capital acted as financial advisor to Yellowfin Yachts, and Katz Barron provided legal advice.
About Warbird Marine Holdings
The parent company of Yellowfin Yachts and Invincible Boat Company, Warbird Marine Holdings brings together the discipline and business rigor of a larger company with the entrepreneurial brands of premium sport fishing boats. In doing so, Warbird strives to create a higher level of craftsmanship, build quality, durability and customer experience for brands in its group. For more information, please visit warbirdmarineholdings.com.
About EagleTree Capital
EagleTree Capital is a leading New York-based private equity firm in the mid-market that has invested approximately $ 2.7 billion in equity since its inception. The company has completed over 35 private equity investments and over 70 additional transactions over the past 20+ years. EagleTree invests primarily in the following sectors: media and business services, consumer and water and specialty industries. For more information, please visit eagletree.com.