With its storied beginnings dating back to its first launch of its venerated 35-foot Flybridge sportfisher in 1991, CABO Yachts has continually challenged both the offshore waters where its model line of world-class, tournament-ready boats searches for the next big catch, as well as constantly researching and planning the evolution of its respected designs for its loyal and enthusiastic owner base and new converts.
A major step in that direction came when CABO became part of Hatteras Yachts in 2006. Since then, the company has seen such groundbreaking model launches as the 36EX, 40 and 44 EX/HTX, and the awesome 52EX.
And now, a new chapter in this celebrated brand history is about to unfold. The reason? Hatteras/CABO has been acquired by Philadelphia-based Versa, an affiliate of Versa Capital Management LLC, a private equity investment firm with $1.3 billion of assets under management focused on control investments in special situations involving middle market companies where value and performance growth can be achieved through enhanced operational and financial management.
John Ward, a 24-year marine executive whose experience includes Boston Whaler and Mercury Marine will continue to lead the Hatteras/CABO team as president and chief executive officer. Virtually all Hatteras/CABO employees will be retained.
"We are very excited to become part of the Versa team, given their financial and operational expertise," Mr. Ward commented. "The economic downturn affected the entire marine industry. We are proud that Versa has put their confidence into our iconic brands, and that the firm shares our belief in American manufacturing. Since we learned in January that we were being sold, we have been waiting for the right financial partner to support our business. We see that partner in Versa."
"Both Hatteras and CABO are cornerstone American brands in their respective luxury marine markets, and both have been affected during the extended economic downturn," stated Gregory L. Segall, CEO of Versa Capital. "Working with the company's seasoned management team, we see great opportunity to build value in these businesses while retaining the expertise in engineering and eastern seaboard production that has given Hatteras/CABO their well-earned reputations as premier yacht and sportfishing vessel builders."