Carlyle Group Acquires LMC
Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group today announced the acquisition of Lauderdale Marine Center (LMC), the nation's largest yacht repair facility in terms of the number of large vessels it can haul and service. Equity for the transaction comes from Carlyle Realty Partners VII, a U.S. real estate investment fund.
"In partnership with the outstanding management team and staff at LMC, we will build upon LMC's success through growth and continued innovation and superb customer service," said Thad Paul, Managing Director at The Carlyle Group. "Favorable demand trends in the mega-yacht industry and the high barriers to entry for new supply in Southeast Florida attracted us to the investment."
Located in Fort Lauderdale on the New River, visible from I-95 and close to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, LMC is a 50-acre facility consisting of a boatyard, marina and marine service center. It accommodates boats up to 200 feet with 19 covered sheds and 156 wet slips, has three marine travel lifts with haul-out capacity up to 330 tons, and features 7,000 linear feet of dockage. LMC's business model includes leasing work space and commercial office space to approximately 60 on-site contractors providing various marine-related services such as fiberglass repair, electrical, painting, brokerage and insurance.
Carlyle's plans for LMC include minor renovations and several expansions in the near term, including:
adding additional paving in the southwest corner of the property to allow for additional mega-yacht repair space;
completing the renovations at the adjacent River Bend boatyard and incorporating that property into LMC; and
developing a new management and leasing office on the site.
"Carlyle has a track record of value creation in its business and property investments, which makes their ownership a welcome development for LMC," said Mark Pratt, General Manager of LMC since 2000. "With our state-of-the-art facilities and unique operating model that allows captains to choose their own contractors, we are ideally positioned for future growth."
The marine industry is a major driver of South Florida's economy. According to a 2014 study by Thomas J. Murray & Associates conducted for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the tri-county marine industry (Miami-Dade/Broward/Palm Beach counties) had an estimated economic impact of $11.5 billion in gross output, including $4 billion in wages and earnings, and an associated 136,000 jobs. Broward County (Greater Fort Lauderdale) had an estimated economic impact of $8.8 billion in gross output compared to $768 million for Miami-Dade and $1.883 billion for Palm Beach County.
Fort Lauderdale is acknowledged throughout the industry as a global marine hub. It is home of the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest in-water boat show in the world.