26 Oct KL Outdoor Wins MiBiz M&A Deal of the Year Award
Leading recreational watercraft manufacturer KL Outdoor/GSC recently won the 2017 MiBiz M&A Deal of the Year Award in the category for transactions valued between $25 million and $150 million. The award recognized New Water Capital’s recapitalization of KL Outdoor, announced in January 2017, which provided the company with funds to continue fueling its already impressive growth.
Prior to joining New Water, KL Outdoor had experienced a five-year period of rapid growth, company co-founder and Vice President Dave Harris told MiBiz. But in order to sustain that rate of growth, the company needed an infusion of capital.
As company co-founder and Vice President Dave Harris told MiBiz, KL Outdoor, assisted by Amherst Partners LLC, looked for an investment partner with expertise in both manufacturing and consumer products and experience in negotiating with big box retailers. As it turned out, New Water Capital was the perfect fit.
Since the January deal announcement, a New Water Capital affiliate acquired a second watercraft-maker, Montreal-based GSC Technologies, and arranged for a merger of the two companies, forming what is believed to be the world’s largest kayak-maker. New Water Capital brought in CEO Chuck Smith to lead the newly merged company. KL Outdoor/GSC Technologies recently announced the opening of a new headquarters site in downtown Muskegon, Michigan, part of a total $9.2 million investment in its Michigan HQ and manufacturing facilities.
With New Water’s backing, said CEO Smith, KL Outdoor/GSC Technologies is ideally positioned to expand into new product lines within the big box retail environment. “We’re excited about the potential for this great company and proud of our contributions to the economic strength of the great state of Michigan,” Smith said.