Thor Buys Specialty Trailer Builder Bison Coach
Thor Industries Inc. announced that, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, it has acquired the net assets of specialty trailer manufacturer Bison Coach from an operating unit of Navistar Inc. The purchase price, which will be paid in cash, is approximately $16.7 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.
“We are pleased to welcome Bison Coach to the Thor team. The addition of Bison adds depth in a new specialty market of equine trailers equipped with living quarters,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO, in a press release. “We believe there are solid opportunities to leverage the design and distribution strengths of our core RV businesses to Bison’s existing products and markets, resulting in better growth in revenues and profitability. Bringing Thor’s strength in designing innovative living spaces in the RV business to Bison’s living quarters makes perfect sense and should help drive additional improvements in Bison’s products.”
Martin noted that given the close proximity of its operations and its similar heavy use of aluminum construction, Bison will be reporting to Scott Tuttle, president of Thor’s Livin’ Lite RV subsidiary.
Founded in 1984, Milford, Ind.-based Bison is known for its rugged, high-quality and affordable specialty trailers. In 2003, Bison began adding living quarter conversions to their production process resulting in the development of a complete line of equine trailers with living quarters.
Bison Coach is expected to generate sales of approximately $30 million for its fiscal year ending, Oct. 31, and Thor expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings.
“We are excited to join the Thor family, the North American leader in RVs that can provide the resources we need to grow our business,” said Zac Binkley, president and general manager of Bison Coach. “We share many of the common traits of Thor, including strength in product innovation and a strong focus on product quality and customer service. Our combination should provide a great cultural fit and a strong partner to foster our continued growth.”
Thor expects Bison Coach will continue to operate out of its existing Milford facilities with minimal disruption to its current business resulting from the acquisition.