In a move that made huge waves in the angling and boating industries, Bass Pro Group announced in December an agreement to acquire Fishing Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer of fishing boats that include Ranger Boats and the Stratos and Triton boat brands from Platinum Equity.
The agreement combines popular fishing boat brands that are recognized internationally. It also creates another connection between two industry leaders, Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris and Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood, who are dedicated fishermen, conservationists and entrepreneurs. Years ago the iconic outdoorsmen both began fishing on the White River and White River Chain of Lakes in the Ozarks and even fished together in the first National BASS Tournaments.
“This partnership brings added long-term stability for both companies and for the dealer networks that provide customers with quality boats at exceptional values,” said Morris, who also is founder/CEO of Tracker Marine Group. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Forrest Wood many years, and I deeply respect him and his family that founded and built a solid performing business with excellent products.”
Morris added that, “It’s also important that our companies share comparable cultures and values and are dedicated to manufacturing quality products in the USA.”
Following the closing of the transaction, Fishing Holdings will continue operating independently under its existing management at its headquarters in Flippin, Ark., located a two-hour drive from Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield.
“We are impressed with the company’s leadership team and performance and look forward to welcoming them to the Bass Pro Shops family,” said Morris.
“We are fortunate to partner with Bass Pro Group, which understands the industry and our brands,” said Fishing Holdings President Randy Hopper. “This new alliance will provide synergies that will strengthen our independent dealer base and ensure our continued focus on fishing.”
Having grown the business since its origins, Wood also praised the transaction.
“I’m excited for Ranger and the team at Fishing Holdings,” he said. “Johnny’s organization is deeply rooted in fishing and dedicated to conservation. He’s made a huge contribution to our sport, and I believe this is a real opportunity to better serve so many dealers and loyal customers around the country.”
Both Morris and Wood have for many years generously donated their time and financial resources to support conservation efforts that help ensure a future for fishing by future generations.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not publicly disclosed.