June 18, 2018
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MDI yacht builder The Hinckley Co. sold

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — The Hinckley Co., manufacturer of luxury sailing and power yachts, has been acquired by a capital investment firm, according to Hinckley officials.

The new owner of the yacht firm is Scout Partners LLC, company officials indicated in a prepared statement released late Tuesday. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

A local official confirmed the sale of Hinckley on Tuesday morning.

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“The company has in fact been sold,” Phil Bennett, the company’s vice president for sales, told the Bangor Daily News. “It’s something we’re excited about.”

Bennett declined to comment further about the transaction.

Few details about Scout Partners, including where it is based or how the sale might affect Hinckley’s operations, were unavailable Tuesday evening.

According to the press release, Scout is a partnership between David Howe and Peterson Capital LLC, which was founded by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson.

The company was created specifically to work closely with U.S.-based companies that have shown significant potential for long-term success, according to the press release.

“We love the Hinckley brand and plan to nurture it to preserve all that is Hinckley,” Howe wrote in the prepared statement. “We’re very excited about the future potential of the company, including the boat-building and service businesses.”

Hinckley CEO James P. McManus said in the press release that 2010 was a significant rebound year for the company.

“New boat sales were strong and continue to show momentum,” McManus said. “We’re excited to have new ownership partners that are committed to building the Hinckley business and that share a passion for the Hinckley brand.”

Hinckley was founded in Southwest Harbor in 1928, according to information posted on the company’s website. In the years since, the company has expanded to include facilities in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. It has eight service yards along the East Coast and counts 1,500 Hinckley yacht owners and 5,000 service customers among its worldwide clientele.

In 1998, it opened a new manufacturing facility off Route 3 in Trenton. Over the past two years, the sagging economy has prompted the firm to lay off approximately 90 people at its Trenton plant, but company officials said in October 2009 that they intended to rehire between 30 and 40 craftspeople in Trenton.

In 2002, the company employed more than 700 people, approximately 500 of whom worked in Maine. Between 200 and 300 people are believed to have worked at the Trenton facility in the early 2000s. The firm now is believed to employ roughly 200 people in Maine after layoffs and rehirings

Known for building both luxury power and sailing yachts, Hinckley is in the process of beginning production of a new power yacht model, the Talaria 48.

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