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      Cadillac boat manufacturer purchased by French yacht company

      A Cadillac boat manufacturer has been purchased by a luxury yacht company in France.

      Rec Boat Holdings, the manufacturer of Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab brand boats, announced the sale to the Beneteau Group to employees at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

      The President of Rec Boat Holdings is currently in France and other management team members will be heading to France in the coming days.

      A spokeswoman for the Cadillac based boat manufacturer says it will be business as usual in the short term, but says there is a chance for growth under the sale.

      "We are looking at the strength of the company as a whole no matter where they're located," said Rec Boat Holdings Marketing Director, Julie Johnson. "They've been able to be very successful in Europe so there's only hope for growth over here in the United States. They know that we are a strong company here in North America so now with the two of us together the opportunities are really just large and exciting for all of us here."

      The Beneteau Group builds large yachts in Europe and wanted a North American presence. The spokeswoman says they will likely be building their boats in Cadillac in the future.

      Four years after being acquired by Platinum Equity in a bankruptcy transaction, Rec Boat Holdings has "come a long way," officials say.

      "With the turnaround complete and the business on sound operational footing, the time is right for a transition to new ownership," said Platinum Equity Partner Louis Samson, who led the acquisition. "Beneteau Group is a world leader in boat manufacturing and is a perfect strategic fit for the Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft, and Scarab brands. We are putting the business in good hands going forward."

      Rec Boat Holdings employs 475 people and has revenues around $150 million with a network of over 200 dealers across North America.

      Community leaders hope the sale means more jobs for the community.

      "Historically they have built such a vibrant company in our community and I think from an economic impact perspective this is huge for the community," said Cadillac Mayor Carla Filkins. "Not only will there be sustainable jobs but there will be new jobs and it provides additional employment opportunities, and the trickle-down effect it could have in the community could be huge."