Dometic Group’s Tuesday (Sept. 9) announcement of its pending acquisition of Elkhart, Ind.-based Atwood Mobile Products LLC represents a shift in the RV supply chain landscape, merging two of the industry’s most established and respected suppliers.
The deal, still subject to government regulatory review, would effectively complement Dometic’s product portfolio while providing Atwood with further opportunities to expand its sights globally and sharpen its focus on the RV aftermarket.
“Atwood would certainly provide Dometic with a broader range of products, particularly with their proven market strength in gas-powered stoves, hot water heaters and furnaces, along with the Fan-Tastic Vent line and several complementary products,” Frank Marciano, president of Dometic Americas, told RVBUSINESS.com. “But it would also benefit other areas of our business, including service, support and training – areas where Atwood excels – while ultimately bringing a better value to the end users.”
If the transaction is approved, Dometic will be acquiring Atwood from South Lake, Texas-based Insight Equity, a private equity firm that purchased Atwood in 2007. Kip Ellis, vice president of sales and marketing for Atwood, said that his company had been testing the waters for several months before going into serious negotiations with Dometic.
“It was an arduous process, but we’re very excited about the opportunities presented by the acquisition, especially the global implications for Atwood,” Ellis said. “Dometic is very well established in Europe and Asia Pacific, regions where we are very light in terms of market presence. We are looking forward to creating a broader footprint for our products.”
Marciano and Ellis related that a key factor in putting the deal together was the common ground the companies share – business philosophies that emphasize intelligent, quality-focused product development backed by dedicated customer service.
“It came out in working with Atwood on this deal that the company has a lot of the same core values as Dometic,” Marciano said. “They are very progressive and innovative in terms of product and truly care about their customers and their reputation in the marketplace. It became apparent that it would be a very good fit for both companies.”
Ellis noted, “We complement each other well, both in terms of products and in the way that we do business. Our cultures line up nicely.”
Marciano indicated that once the sale was finalized, plans were to “initially have Atwood operate as a stand-alone division of Dometic.” He added, “With regards to what will happen over time, I just can’t comment on that. We will partner with Atwood’s management team and make the best decisions that will be positive for the industry and our stakeholders.”
In Tuesday’s announcement, Dometic reported that its global revenue, on a rolling 12 months, after the acquisition will amount to approximately $1.4 billion and the number of employees will increase to 7,200. Currently, Atwood has 775 workers with annual sales of $200 million.