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Brunswick Acquires Electronics Group Navico in $1 Billion Deal

By: Scott Way

Brunswick Corporation has acquired Navico, a worldwide leader in marine electronics, in a $1.05 billion deal. Navico includes respected brands like Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, and C-MAP in its portfolio. The acquisition will see each brand enter Brunswick's existing Advanced Systems Group (ASG), which includes their existing divisions for parts and accessories, power management, digital control and monitoring, and networking devices.

According to Dave Foulkes, CEO of Brunswick Corporation, "The acquisition of Navico and its award-winning brands will immediately accelerate Brunswick’s ACES (Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification and Shared-Access) strategy, and support our vision to deliver distinctive new products and technology-enabled experiences. We will continue to invest both in organic initiatives and acquisitions to maintain our position of global product leadership, and the addition of Lowrance, Simrad, B&G and C-MAP to our existing brand portfolio will further strengthen our ability to provide complete, innovative digital solutions to consumers and comprehensive, integrated systems offerings to our OEM customers.”

The ACES initiative by Brunswick is a bold move to accelerate technological development in alternative fuel and power sources. Mercury Marine announced they will release electric outboards by 2023 during an ACES shareholder meeting in May.

“Brunswick’s Advanced Systems Group has unparalleled global reach and the addition of Navico solidifies our commitment to creating an unmatched boater and OEM experience,” said Brett Dibkey, Advanced Systems Group president. “We have a very broad product portfolio, ranging from general marine products to power management solutions and we will leverage the unique expertise of each brand to generate revenue and operating synergies to promote growth for both ASG and Navico. We are also adding a talented, experienced, and consumer-focused management team, which is expected to remain in place and play a major role in the execution of our strategy."

Navico, for its part, is a based in Egersund, Norway and is co-owned by Altor Fund IV and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. J.P. Morgan Securities will be Brunswick's financial advisor during the purchase. Navico is the leading international provider for sonar, radar, cartography, fish finders, multi-function displays, and autopilots. Their market share currently includes a large swath of the powerboat and sailing markets, as well as commercial applications worldwide. The company generated $470 million in revenue during the 2020 fiscal year, and continues to show strong growth moving forward. Brunswick's existing parts and accessories divisions account about $1.5 billion in annual sales, of roughly 35% of the of the company's 2020 revenues. The addition of Navico will undoubtedly push Brunswick's total segment over $2 billion in that market category.

“After a strong period of growth, we are very excited about joining the Brunswick family to further strengthen our offering and support our customers going forward.” said Knut Frostad, Navico’s President & CEO. “On behalf of everyone at Navico, we cannot wait to begin our journey with Brunswick and share our passion and dedication with their team. By working together, we will be able to deliver a unique and integrated customer experience.”

The deal is expected to be completed in full during the second half of 2021 and will require regulatory review and approval. Brunswick stock was up over 26% year to date before the latest announcement.

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