Weatherford Capital last month invested US$10m more in Safe Harbors Marina. The Florida-based private equity firm initially invested US$40m in January 2017. Safe Harbor is its largest publicly disclosed investment to date, though the company also has holdings in health care and technology firms.
Safe Harbor owns and operates 67 marinas. In January it acquired Old Port Cove Holdings in North Palm Beach, picking up three full-service marina properties.
“We believe the marina industry is quite compelling due to its fragmented nature,” Weatherford told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “There are thousands of marinas across the US, but the vast majority of marina owners only operate a single asset, so there is tremendous opportunity to consolidate and improve the overall boater experience. There is a unique clientele that has been underserved in the past.”
Weatherford said that the sector is “challenging” to enter because there is a imited supply of marinas. “It’s extremely expensive and time consuming to build a new one,” he told the paper. “We believe we have a great platform and are looking for new partners and marinas in great markets like Florida.”
Weatherford said his company plans to fund future acquisitions with Safe Harbor.