AMORY – NauticStar Boats, founded in Amory 15 years ago, has been acquired by MasterCraft for $79.8 million, the companies announced Monday.

NauticStar manufactures and distributes 18- to 28-foot, bay boats, deck boats and offshore center console boats.

NauticStar owner and founder Phillip M. Faulkner said “MasterCraft is an iconic brand known for quality, performance and innovation. Our entire organization is excited to join their team, and leverage their experience and operational know-how to further grow NauticStar. This is a great opportunity for all of our employees, as well as customers and dealer partners.”

According to Tennesee-based MasterCraft, the deal “unites two leading, and complementary boating brands” as NauticStar’s portfolio “adds to MasterCraft’s product diversity.”

NauticStar’s operations will remain in Amory, MasterCraft said.

With the acquisition, MasterCraft also gets a presence in salt water fishing and outboard propulsion, two of the fastest growing segments in the $40 billion boating industry.

Founded in 2002, NauticStar is privately owned and operated. It employs some 300 people in a 200,000 square-foot manufacturing facility.

NauticStar generated about $63.7 million in sales last year, with expectations of reaching $80 million this year.

MasterCraft said NauticStar “has a reputation for reliability, quality and consistency, with a loyal network of dealers and customers including professional and sport fishermen, and recreational and pleasure boating enthusiasts. NauticStar currently sells its boats in the United States through an established network of approximately 70 dealers.”

Terry McNew, MasterCraft’s President and CEO, said, “NauticStar’s year-over-year unit growth is among the strongest in the 18-28 foot category and demand domestically currently exceeds supply. We look forward to leveraging our industry-leading strengths in operational excellence and financial management to further improve NauticStar’s output, quality and margin as we continue their rapid growth.”

Headquartered in Vonore, Tennessee, MCBC Holdings Inc. is the parent company of MasterCraft Boat Co. Founded in 1968, MasterCraft builds ski, wakeboard, wakesurf and luxury performance powerboats.

Added McNew, “As a combined organization, we have the resources and experience to greatly expand NauticStar’s distribution both domestically and internationally after satisfying the demand from the existing dealer network. We look forward to working together to deliver profitable and sustainable market share growth, and driving efficiency in every area of our business.”

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