‘Discreet takeover’ of kayak giant Hobie Cat revealed – and it’s another private equity group
One of the best-kept secrets in fishing has been revealed. Major US kayak maker Hobie Cat Co. was sold on January 25th this year to a private equity group made up of executives from Detroit-based Maynard Industries.
In what has been described as a ‘discreet takeover’ SGB Media has reported that the new Chairman of the company is Taso Sofikitis. The new owners are also set to introduce new CFO and COO positions to complement the core leadership team, which otherwise remains intact.
While the new owners do not have experience in the paddlesports or surf/SUP markets, their experience spans equipment, machinery, automotive, education and high performance sports. Sofikitis told SGB it plans to adhere to a successful formula employed since Hobie Alter founded the company over 70 years ago.
He said: “The outdoor recreation industry represents an opportunity that excites us as active individuals and promises near and long-term growth. Sales of kayaks and other watercraft are booming and we see an opportunity to continue Hobie’s legacy of innovation and improve the product distribution process.
“Hobie’s iconic brand and the ‘Hobie way of life‘ culture are authentic. The Hobie story is unique and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to maintain and grow the brand’s legacy.”
A priority of the new owner is to ramp up production and Sofikitis revealed that the company is taking on 65 new employees at its Oceanside, California headquarters and ordering additional parts to stay ahead of the supply chain.