A private equity firm has acquired a majority stake in high-performance saltwater fishing Invincible Boat Co. and installed former MasterCraft Boat Co. CEO John Dorton in the top spot.
EagleTree Capital, a New York-based private equity and investment firm, closed the deal on July 15. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Invincible Boat Co. founder, Alex Lipworth, will continue to guide product development and serve on the company’s board of directors. Lipworth still retains a stake in the Opa-Locka, Florida, company.
“We are excited to partner with John Dorton and EagleTree. Their experience in the boating industry and the resources they provide will help Invincible achieve new heights,” Lipworth said in a press release. “We look forward to accelerating our new product development, investing in the Invincible brand, growing our manufacturing capacity, and enhancing our customer experience and dealer support systems.”
Lipworth founded the company in 2006, filling a niche for semi-custom saltwater fishing boats. The company has grown to more than 260 employees and offers eight models ranging from 33 to 42 feet.
Dorton, who recently led Bryant Boats, told Trade Only Today that Invincible will focus heavily on catamaran models. The company currently has four catamaran models and three more ready for production.
The equity firm is expected to provide the company with new capital and resources to help Invincible grow. With changes in ownership, Invincible Boats is adding to its executive ranks. Dorton’s son, Ben, will become Invincible’s vice presidents and Scott Woods, formerly the head of product development at MasterCraft, is joining the new team.
EagleTree Capital reportedly takes a “hands-off” approach to the companies it acquires. The equity firm has ownership stakes in tech, travel and media companies. The private equity firm was previously in the marine industry with an investment in MasterCraft Boat Co. 15 years ago and exited the tow boat company three years later.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join a company that builds such incredible boats,” Dorton said in a press release. “It’s an honor to partner with Alex, the rest of Invincible’s talented management team, and the most dedicated craftsmen in the saltwater space. I’m a big believer in the premium saltwater fishing category as one of the most stable in the industry, with passionate customers that recognize quality and performance.”