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Independent investor acquires Vexilar and AWC ice brands


Ice fishing brands Vexilar and AWC have been acquired by Valiant Wealth Management and independent investor Robert Jablonski, who will run the businesses.

Vexilar, which has been making sonar and fish-finding equipment for 60 years, and AWC, producer of the K-drill line of ice augers, were previously owned by Steven Baumann.

Baumann began working for Vexilar in 1977 and, together with Skip Christman, bought the struggling company in 1986, pioneering the use of ice fishing electronics with the Vexilar FL-8 Flasher. He became President after the death of Christman in 1995 (right of picture).

Baumann’s huge contribution to the ice fishing industry was recognised by induction into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2012.

Valiant, based in Des Moines, Iowa, provides financial and lifestyle management services, while Jablonski (left of picture) has a long history in manufacturing with General Motors, Kohler and Pella Corp., as well as being an avid angler.

“Vexilar is a true legacy brand in ice fishing with a strong runway for growth,” he said. “I’m excited to be transitioning the business with Steve Baumann, an icon in the ice fishing industry.”

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