It was announced on May 17 that Brunswick Corp. would purchase the boat sharing service Freedom Boat Club (FBC), expanding their presence in the growing boat club market. FBC is the largest boat sharing business in the U.S. with 20,000 members, a fleet of 2,200 boats, and 170 business and franchise-owned locations.
“As the leader in the boat club segment, Freedom offers both immediate scale and an established marketplace presence and expertise,” said Brunswick CEO David M. Foulkes. “FBC’s profitable and cycle-resistant business model is an excellent fit within our marine portfolio.”
After completion of the deal, FBC will become a member of Brunswick’s Business Acceleration group, which also includes Brunswick’s Boating Service Network (BSN). Brunswick has participated in the boat sharing and rental market since 2014 through the BSN.
Current FBC CEO John Giglio and his management team will continue to lead Freedom, which has demonstrated continued growth for the last five years while tripling its membership and doubling its locations. “We’re very excited to join Brunswick,” Giglio said. “Our knowledge and experience of the growing boat club industry, combined with Brunswick’s leading marine resources, will provide FBC and its franchise partners with many new opportunities to accelerate growth and create value, while enhancing the best-in-class boating experience we aim to provide our members.”
The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2019. “Freedom Boat Club is an exciting addition to our portfolio for many reasons,” stated Foulkes. “It establishes a leadership position in a growing marketplace, provides an entry point for the next generation of boaters, takes advantage of our existing marine assets, and creates a new cycle-resistant profit stream.”