A longtime local manufacturer of marine electrical components was acquired by a similar Wisconsin company.
Power Products LLC has purchased Blue Sea Systems in a deal that closed Friday, Oct. 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In making the announcement, both companies said no immediate changes will be made at the Bellingham facility, which has 83 full-time employees and 10 contract workers. The management team and the employees will remain, along with the Blue Sea Systems name, said Michele Goldsmith, global marketing manager for Power Products’ marine division.
Scott Renne, who founded Blue Sea Systems in 1992, will remain with the company for a year as a consultant. He said the sale was part of a thought-out succession plan, something he shared with employees early on so it wouldn’t come as a surprise.
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“We considered many companies during this process before narrowing it down to one,” Renne said. “I think this is a natural fit and will bring a lot of new opportunities for Blue Sea Systems’ employees.”
One reason combining the companies appears to be a natural fit is because the two have complementary products. Both sell electrical components that interact together, said Scott Lechner, marketing manager at Blue Sea Systems. The marine electrical industry is fairly small, so employees at the two companies are quite familiar with each other, Lechner said.
“We were competitors but also friends,” he said.
Power Products is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., and had 998 employees around the world. It has facilities in the U.S. as well as several other countries, including New Zealand, Mexico and China.
Blue Sea Systems has grown through the years by taking advantage of opportunities in the boat-service industry, including refurbishing electric systems. This includes building new panels, circuit protectors and system monitors. Combining with Power Products will give Blue Sea Systems an opportunity to go into other markets, including renewable energy and emergency vehicles, Lechner said.
Along with consulting for Blue Sea Systems, Renne said he plans on getting more involved in charitable activities locally as well as pursue a variety of hobbies. He’s also glad to find a buyer he believes will keep jobs in Bellingham and possibly bring in more in the future. That’s what distinguished Power Products from the other choices they considered, he said.
“I think we made the right move,” Renne said. “I wanted to make sure the company had a stable ownership stake.”