Business Blog

Two regional boat building companies merge

Here’s a news release about a merger between two regional boatbuilding companies:

SEATTLE, WASH. – (March 3, 2015) – Kvichak Marine Industries and Vigor Industrial today announced the companies are merging to unite their strengths in the design and fabrication of aluminum workboats, shipbuilding, and boat building. Under the terms of the merger, Kvichak will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor. Kvichak’s current owners (Jim Meckley, Brian Thomas and Keith Whittemore) will join Vigor as shareholders and as members of the leadership team.

“My partners and I are very excited to be joining Vigor. Sharing best ideas and practices across companies will make us even more competitive and create a more stable business base for our workers,” said Keith Whittemore, president of Kvichak. “Vigor shares our values and our commitment to providing long term opportunity to our people.”

Over more than three decades, Kvichak has solidified a legendary reputation for quality, durability and innovation in the workboat market. The company also has extensive experience in the commercial fisheries of Alaska building gillnetters, seiners and tenders. Combining that expertise with Vigor’s shipbuilding experience and its strategically located facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska create the talent, infrastructure and unique market knowledge to allow the combined company to lead the effort to recapitalize the North Pacific fishing fleet.

“Kvichak brings amazing fabrication talent to our company and some of the best customer relationships in the industry,” said Vigor CEO and owner Frank Foti. “The Kvichak team builds the best aluminum workboats in the country, arguably the world. Infusing those fabrication genetics into our broader operations is what industrial evolution is all about. What could be better than creating a team that allows most new fishing boats to be built where they work—in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.”

This transaction builds on the 2014 Vigor and Oregon Iron Works (OIW) merger which expanded Vigor’s reach into highly complex industrial products in marine, renewable energy, aerospace, nuclear containment, transit, defense, hydroelectric, bridge building, and other commercial construction industries. Adding Kvichak to the Vigor family of companies adds to Vigor’s product line diversification and its mission to build and sustain family-wage industrial jobs.

“With Kvichak on board, we also see enormous opportunity to strengthen our role in supporting offshore oil and gas operations in the Arctic,” said Foti. “The synergy between Vigor, OIW and Kvichak provides the ability to fabricate larger and more complex components, and expand our offerings for building offshore support vessels, oil spill response vessels and systems, modules, rigs, terminals and related structures.”

The combined company will employ about 2,500 people in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.