At the end of July, Barletta Boats President and CEO Bill Fenech announced that an agreement in principle had been reached with Winnebago Industries for the acquisition of Barletta Boats, Inc.

Fenech said that Barletta Boats will be sold to Winnebago for a reported $270 million, pending Barletta meeting sales projections for 2021 and following years. Barletta Boats is expecting to reach sales of $214 million in 2021, after reporting sales of $120 million in 2020.

Barletta Boats is considered one of the premium pontoon boat lines in the country, with more than 125 dealers nationwide. 

Winnebago Industries is noted as the leading manufacturer of recreational vehicles. However, the corporation has been moving into the marine industry in recent years, following its acquisition of Florida-based Chris-Craft in 2018.

And this is not the first transaction between Bill Fenech and Mike Happe, the president and CEO of Winnebago. Fenech, his brother Ron and partner Don Clark founded Grand Design, which manufactured towable RVs, in 2012 and sold that company to Winnebago in 2016. 

Bill Fenech left that organization to start Barletta Boats in 2017 and quickly built the company into an industry leader. Fenech will stay with the new organization.

Winnebago is said to have been interested in acquiring Barletta Boats for its presence in the marine industry and its reputation with dealers and customers and its high quality products.

Fenech, in announcing the transaction, thanked his team for its proud, passionate performance –”we walk our talk” he said — and for building the company’s selective dealer base. 

“In this new iteration, we will continue to be true to the values of our company, and be true to the Barletta DNA, which is all about the best in quality as well as honesty and responsiveness to our customers, suppliers and dealers,” Fenech said.