June '18

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rv-pro.com June 2018 • RV PRO • 15 M&A Accelerating Among Park Model Builders Since the Great Recession, park model manufacturers have consolidated, reflecting a trend in the larger RV industry. In 2009, Cavco Industries bought the manufactured housing wing of Fleetwood Enterprises, including its park model business, for $26.6 million. In 2011, Fleetwood Homes, a Cavco subsidiary, acquired out of bankruptcy Palm Harbor Homes, which had a park model component. In 2012, Champion Home Builders purchased Athens Park Homes. In spring 2015, Cavco purchased the manufactured housing and park model production assets of Chariot Eagle and Fairmont Homes. Also in 2015, Champion and Winnebago Industries embarked on an agree- ment whereby Champion would build traditional- and cabin-style park models to be sold through Winnebago's dealer network, along with park model retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. That agreement has since expired. In September 2014, Cavco announced its interest in acquiring Skyline Corp. Skyline rebuffed the takeover. Subsequently, in January 2018, Skyline and Champion announced that they would combine their operations, forming Skyline Champion Corp. The parties were going through the due diligence process this spring and expected to complete the transaction in the first half of 2018. – By Steve Bibler Yoder says he sees steady growth ahead for the park model industry. "The whole destination camping concept is still in its infancy," he says. "There is a lot of virgin territory out there we haven't touched. I think we'll see the destination market still growing." The market for park models is evolving, according to Yoder. A generation ago, "80 percent or better were retirees," he says. "That has changed a bit over the last 10 years as the destination camping craze became more prevalent. As people realize park models and park trailers are a viable and affordable option, we're seeing the age vary. Retirees are still the majority, but it's closer to 45 to 65 percent, as a lot of families are purchasing them." Yoder says he sees three factors constraining the market going forward: He's concerned about the lack of new campgrounds and RV parks opening up. He says the pool of qual- LINDSAY, CA 8004514951 CORONA, CA 8003820709 CHANDLER, AZ 5207964300 WEISER, ID 8775404906 YORK, NE 8007527906 MANSFIELD, TX 8174020215 LAKE CITY, FL 8002235471 CLAYSBURG, PA 8009325121 WORTHINGTON, MN 5073769460 INNOVATION IN RECREATIONAL LIVING www.athensparkmodelrvs.com

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