Sweden’s Dometic Group says it will acquire SeaStar Solutions for US$875m (€745m) in cash. The global equipment maker expects the closing to take place in the fourth quarter.
SeaStar is a North America-based supplier of vessel control systems and aftermarket products, with expected revenues of US$320m (€273m) and EBITDA of US$85.0m for 2017. Dometic’s annual sales were approximately €1.3bn (SEK 12.4bn) in 2016, an increase of 8% over the previous year. After posting further gains of 14% through its second quarter, Dometic said it had a good cash platform for additional expansion and reiterated that “finding more acquisition growth opportunities in attractive business segments is a top priority.”
The purchase of SeaStar Solutions adds several brands to the Dometic portfolio including SeaStar, Xtreme, Moeller, Optimus and Sierra which operate primarily in the outboard market, where the group has been generating 8% annual growth over the past six years. It said that its Sierra aftermarket platform is the world’s largest independent marine aftermarket supplier. Aftermarket sales account for about 48% of total revenues. SeaStar has a workforce of around 1,250 across eight facilities which will join Dometic’s existing 22 manufacturing/assembly sites and workforce of approximately 6,500 worldwide.
Dometic said the acquisition would “significantly broaden” its marine offerings in North America. “The acquisition strengthens and expands Dometic's position as a global supplier to the marine industry through new product areas, and a broader distribution network and market presence,” said a company statement.
Marine sales represent 10% of the company’s total global business which includes mobile solutions in climate, hygiene, sanitation, and food and beverage for pleasure and workboats, along with recreational vehicles, trucks and premium cars.
“The combination of Dometic's existing strong position in marine air conditioners, refrigeration and sanitation, with SeaStar Solutions's leadership in vessel control, fuel systems and system integration, will enable the enlarged Dometic to develop and provide an unrivalled offering to the market and fully utilize the broad network of distributors and strong relationships with manufacturers,” added the statement. The acquisition will also allow Dometic to move deeper into the recreational vehicle business where it generates 65% of its global sales.
“The acquisition is an excellent strategic fit and greatly reinforces our position in the marine business,” said Roger Johansson, president and CEO of Dometic, in a statement. “The company has market leading positions in several attractive product segments and is a strategic cornerstone in our ambition to build a broader global leadership.”
The transaction will be immediately accretive to Dometic’s operating margin and EPS. It is expected to generate sales and cost synergies, including a strengthened combined sales platform, supply chain and distribution. Total synergies are estimated to amount to US$20m per annum. They are expected to be fully realised within three years.
Market reaction to the announcement was positive with a 12% jump in Dometic’s share price in today’s trading, hitting SEK 78.35 - a record high since it began trading publicly in October 2015. The company’s share price is up 13% over the past 52 weeks.