Illinois-based conglomerate Brunswick is selling its Triton Boats subsidiary five years after buying it from founder Earl Bentz and his wife.
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but Brunswick paid $62.8 million for Triton in May of 2005 when the company employed twice as many people as it does today. What is already known is that just one of the three production lines now active in Ashland City is staying.
The buyers – an arm of private-equity group Platinum Equity that has recruited Bentz to again lead Triton – are moving production of one the company's fiberglass lines to Flippin, Ark., this fall and Brunswick is shifting another line of work to its plant in Vonore, Tenn.
Combined, the moves will cost Ashland City 135 of its 225 Triton jobs, according to Channel 4. Production in Arkansas will begin this fall, but Triton's home office and top managers will stay in Middle Tennessee.
"This move creates an exciting opportunity to re-energize the Triton brand," said Bentz. "We will look to our roots and to our dedication to the fishing community on which the Triton brand was founded. I have been working closely with many Triton dealers since I started the company. I look forward to continuing that collaboration with our dealer base and to serving our loyal customers into the future."
Platinum's acquisition of Triton is its second major recent foray into the boating industry. Last year, it won the bidding for the bankrupt Genmar, which runs a plant in Murfreesboro.