Northrop & Johnson Acquired by MarineMax

By Jenna Mehdi

Prolific American boat dealer MarineMax is to acquire global brokerage house Northrop & Johnson, it has been announced.

Last year MarineMax announced it would be consolidating its presence in the field of superyacht brokerage with the acquisition of Fraser Yachts. The move one year later to acquire another LYBRA member, Northrop & Johnson, has proven to solidify this, pooling strengths and enhancing the services provided by the growing family. 

We spoke with Northrop & Johnson CEO Kevin Merrigan and MarineMax CEO Brett McGill to discuss the move. 

‘We’re thrilled - they’re an incredibly high integrity group of people,’ Merrigan told us. ‘We’re thrilled to be a part of the family and work with their friends at Fraser, it’s an excellent opportunity to draw on our different strengths.’

In terms of practical differences, Northrop & Johnson will see their portfolio of services strengthened by the ability to offer clients in-house technical management as a result of the move. ‘We have great partnerships within the industry, and we see a lot of synergies there. MarineMax is young, energetic, and has weathered the recession particularly well.

Talks of the acquisition began in earnest in February, Merrigan told us. ‘I think MarineMax had been considering it before that. They saw an opportunity to gain market share, where others might not be strong enough to do something like this.’

Brett McGill, CEO of MarineMax, added, ‘Around a year ago we made the decision to extend the business upwards. We were selling a lot of yachts 120 feet and under, and didn’t have any yacht charter services, so we made the move with Fraser.

Just as we’ve grown MarineMax, we were introduced to the people at Northrop & Johnson, and they were a great culture fit for us. Each brings different skillsets to the table, so this really should be one plus one equals three.’

Although both Fraser and Northrop & Johnson strong suits are manifold, McGill is particularly excited about the synergy of Fraser’s yacht management services with Northrop’s marketing savvy. ‘This extends us strongly into the superyacht realm.’

From the perspective of each party’s respective clients, there will be no big changes - Brett assured us it will be very much ‘business as usual’, apart from the added benefit extended services. 

Although travel restrictions remain in place in many countries and the lockdown is far from behind us, yachting in the US evidently remains very strong. ‘We’ve always had a strategy of getting people on the water and enjoying the sea - and now more than ever, that strategy is paying off.’

While we look forward to seeing an increase in domestic charters in the US in the coming months, many of us remain anxiously awaiting the reprisal of international travel restrictions. To plan your post-lockdown getaway, check out Northrop & Johnson's enviable charter fleet, inclusive of iconic superyachts such as Tankoa's 71m flagship Solo (pictured). 

We would like to applaud MarineMax and Northrop & Johnson on the acquisition, and look forward to seeing what this synergy of industry giants has to bring in the coming months. 


"We have great partnerships within the industry, and we see a lot of synergies there."

Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson


"We have great partnerships within the industry, and we see a lot of synergies there."

Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson
By Jenna Mehdi
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