New Acquisition Keeps Marine Travelift In Sturgeon Bay

Friday, July 25, 2003
On Monday, July 21, the Marine Travelift family of companies, international leaders in the production and sales of marine and industrial lifting products, was purchased by Jim Ashton and Stephan Pfeifer. Though the business has changed hands, the owners desire to keep Marine Travelift in Sturgeon Bay. Pfeifer plans to establish residency in Sturgeon Bay and will be the president and CEO of the business. Ashton will reside in Dallas and visit Marine Travelift on a monthly basis. He will be the chairman of the business and will monitor its strategic and long-term growth. The previous owners, brothers Gerald and Allan Lamer, searched for prospective owners that had qualitative requirements in addition to quantitative requirements to continue to grow their business. Pfeifer sought out Marine Travelift. He surmised that the Lamers could be getting to a point in their careers when they would be looking for an exit strategy. The Lamers have owned Marine Travelift since 1975. Ashton is a business entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas, and Pfeifer is the owner of the contract manufacturing company ExacTech in Port Washington, Wis. They plan to comprehend the products and needs of the customers of Marine Travelift during the first year of their ownership. They also hope to increase productivity and sales over time. The new owners believe that achieving these goals depends on staying in the strong Sturgeon Bay community. All current employees at Marine Travelift will remain employed under the new management. According to Ashton, 25 percent of Marine Travelift’s sales are international. “The United States can compete quite well internationally as long as we bring technology and quality to the customers,” Ashton said. Both domestic and international sales prospects remain strong especially for larger-size lifting equipment. A new 600-ton boat hoist is currently being tested in Sturgeon Bay and will be demonstrated in late July to the company’s dealers, along with our other marine and industrial products. Ashton and Pfeifer, as owners of ExacTech, plan to produce parts and value-added work for Marine Travelift products. According to Ashton and Pfeifer, combining the two companies is a vertically integrated and synergistic move.

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