Hoffmann buys Mackinac Island Ferry Company

What's happening: The Hoffmann Family of Companies, a Florida-based private equity firm, has acquired the Mackinac Island Ferry Company. This is the latest move by both Hoffman and the Mackinac Island service to consolidate ferry ownership in the Straits. Hoffmann previously purchased Shepler’s Ferry and the Sip N’ Sail Cruises; the Mackinac Island Ferry Company rebranded its Star Line brand to include other freight ferries and land parcels relevant to safe transportation. Hoffman Marine, which operates a number of maritime companies across seven states, now has 46 total vessels in its fleet. 

A liking of Mackinac: This is the latest opportunity for the Hoffmann Family of Companies, which now employs about 500 people in the area. In addition to its maritime focus, Hoffmann Marine also operates Hoffmann Media and Marketing, which owns the St. Ignace News and the Mackinac Island Town Crier. Hoffman is also acquiring various brands across the country, including Oberweis Dairy, the Florida Everblades ECHL team and the Gladstone-based Besse Forest Products Group. 

What they're saying: “Joining the Hoffmann Family of Companies heralds a new era for Mackinac Island Ferry Company,” Jerry Fetty, CEO of Mackinac Island Ferry Company, said in a release. “Our diverse fleet, including Hydro-Jet ferries, catamarans, classic ferries and pirate ship, will complement their marine division while maintaining our unique identity. We are optimistic about the future, dedicated to maintaining our high standards of service, contributing to the thriving Mackinac Island community and continuing to invest in our future.”

What's next: Hoffman Marine President Jenny Gezella will stay in the Mackinac area for the summer to guarantee a seamless transition. No layoffs are expected, according to the company.
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