South Coast: Lymington Marina acquires two family businesses

Family businesses BHG Marine and Willow Marine, run by father and son team David and Paul Martin, have been acquired by Lymington Marina, a subsidiary of Berthon, for an undisclosed sum.

Both BHG Marine and Willow will retain their 21 staff and existing operations in Lymington and Bucklers Hard.

David Martin will retire after 62 years’ service to the marine industry while Paul, with more than 30 years’ experience, will stay on as a consultant.

Chartered accountants and business advisers PKF Francis Clark and law firm Scott Bailey acted for BHG Marine and Willow Marine in the sale.

Paul Martin said: “We have had a long-standing relationship so I had no hesitation in using both firms for what is the largest transaction I am likely to encounter.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome together with the service and professionalism delivered and executed by PKF Francis Clark and Scott Bailey.”

PKF Francis Clark partner Dan Tout said the firm had supported the Martin family and their growing marine businesses with accountancy and tax advice for more than 30 years.

He added: “For long established family businesses such as BHG Marine and Willow Marine, a sales process can be a once in a lifetime transaction, so it has been a pleasure supporting David and Paul throughout this process, to ensure that their financial objectives are achieved. 

“It is also particularly pleasing that the future of the two brilliant local marine businesses is now entrusted to another local family owned business in Berthon.”

Commercial, shipping and marine lawyer Alice Burch said: “Scott Bailey have been delighted to assist BHG Marine and Willow Marine with legal advice.

“It has been our pleasure to support these local businesses in the sale of the companies. It is most satisfying to see businesses flourish and to be a part of this process.”

BHG Marine, based in Lymington, specialises in the sales, service and parts for Yamaha outboards, Jeanneau motor craft and Zodiac inflatables and RIBS. BHG also distributes in Europe the range of PropGuards and Hurley Davits, and in the UK it distributes Turboswing and Motortoter plus the Linder range of aluminium dinghies and canoes. The company employs 13 people.

Willow Marine trades as BHG Service through two sites at Bucklers Hard.  The original garage site services and repairs all brands of outboard motors and small craft while the chandlery and boat yard operation offers additional inboard diesel engine servicing and maintenance. Willow Marine distributes the range of Rigiflex boats in the UK. It employs eight people.

Dominic May of Lymington Marina said: “David and Paul Martin have spent a lifetime building up a brilliant business, and we thank them both for entrusting its future to us.

“The BHG and Willow purchases take us into product areas which we don’t currently offer to our customers. We welcome all the BHG and Willow staff and we will use our strong balance sheet to provide BHG and Willow with a promising future.”