Tennessee company buys Mississippi boat maker for $80M

AMORY, Mississippi (AP) ― A Tennessee company has bought a fellow boat maker in Mississippi to broaden its product line.

MasterCraft of Vonore, Tennessee, said it paid $79.8 million to buy NauticStar of Amory, Mississippi.

CEO Terry McNew says NauticStar will give MasterCraft boats to sell for saltwater fishing. MasterCraft traditionally concentrates on water-skiing and other powerboats.

NauticStar will maintain its northeast Mississippi factory, with 300 employees. McNew says NauticStar founder Phillip Faulkner and his partner will cease day-to-day management.

Publicly-held MasterCraft says the acquisition will add to profits in 2018.

McNew says NauticStar, with $80 million in sales expected this year, can’t satisfy demand. He says MasterCraft aims to increase production, quality and profits, expanding beyond NauticStar’s current dealer network.

Mastercraft is borrowing $115 million to pay for the purchase.

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