Private equity firm acquires Kobelt

kobelt340x255FEBRUARY 14, 2013—Private equity investment firm Bow River Capital Partners, Denver, CO, has acquired propulsion control specialist Kobelt Manufacturing, Surrey, BC, Canada.

For more than 50 years, Kobelt Manufacturing has built high-quality marine controls, push-pull and hydraulic steering systems and industrial disk brakes, sold through a global network of distributors into the marine, natural resources and manufacturing industries.

Kobelt Manufacturing made a name for itself developing unique propulsion control products. One of its latest is the Krronos electronic control head (above), which is gaining traction in the industry

Bow River Capital Partners has a diverse portfolio of holdings, ranging from interests in private oil and gas exploration companies to home pediatric care services.

The acquisition of Kobelt Manufacturing marks the retirement of 83-year-old Jack Kobelt, a well-known figure in the propulsion market, who founded the company in his basement in 1962, developing unique, hand-engineered components for the marine industry. Over the next five decades, Kobelt Manufacturing was awarded dozens of patents, and grew to become a worldwide name with its products sold in over 100 countries.

David Bockhold was tapped as Kobelt’s new CEO.  Bockhold, is a Vancouver resident whose 20 years' experience in manufacturing includes serving as CEO of Advanced Marine Technologies.

“Jack leaves very big shoes to fill, and his continued advice and guidance will be important as we move forward to build an even bigger and better Kobelt,” says Bockhold.   “The Kobelt name has long been known for superb quality and durability and we will maintain those strengths, while looking to advance Kobelt’s reputation for product innovation, partner support and customer service.”

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