Indiana-based Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE: THO), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles, has acquired privately-held Jayco Corp. from the Bontrager family for $576 million in cash.
Jayco, and its subsidiaries Jayco, Starcraft RV, Highland Ridge and Entegra Coach currently operate in 31 facilities which include 17 production lines covering 2.2 million square feet of production space located primarily in Northern Indiana with additional facilities in Twin Falls, Idaho. The company was founded in 1968 by Lloyd Jay Bontrager, and is based in Middlebury, Indiana.
In 2015, Jayco generated $70 million in EBITDA on revenue of $1.5 billion. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Thor’s earnings within the first fiscal year.
Thor will operate Jayco as an independent company as it does with its other subsidiaries. It will be “business as usual” at Jayco as their existing, experienced management team will continue to manage their operations and compete effectively in the RV market, just as they and their family have done for the past 48 years.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jayco to the Thor portfolio of companies,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO. “Jayco is a company that I have admired for more than 20 years while working in the industry and living in the community very close to their operations. We value the longstanding success of Jayco and are committed to providing the Bontrager family, and their team of dedicated employees, the resources they need to continue the success they have built at Jayco over the past half century.”
“This investment also illustrates our confidence in the future of the RV industry as younger consumers enter and expand the market over the coming decades. Both existing and new RVers will see the benefits of our subsidiaries’ efforts as they lead in innovation with new technology and features in our products that make RVs easier to use and better connected,” Martin added.
Wilbur Bontrager, chairman of Jayco commented, “Our family is very proud of the legacy we have established and nurtured over the past 48 years. As a family run and owned business, we view today’s transaction as an opportunity to continue growing our business while joining an even larger family.”
“The core values that are synonymous with Jayco and its brands shape the way we run our business, and these values will remain and guide us as we look to the future,” said Derald Bontrager, president and CEO of Jayco. “One of the things we found most attractive about Thor was their decentralized business structure, which allows their subsidiaries to continue operating independently. Most importantly, within this structure, our current leadership team will continue to manage Jayco, just as we have been running it since our founding. We will continue with the same focus our father had on serving our dealers and consumers better than anyone else in the industry.”
the acquisition will advance Thor’s strategic focus on growing its recreational vehicle (RV) business. Jayco brings complementary products in travel trailers, folding camping trailers, higher-end diesel Class A motorhomes and larger Class C motorhomes.