Scheduled to close on March 31, Cigarette Racing Team’s planned acquisition of Doug Wright Designs will not happen. Both Cigarette’s owner John Ruiz and Doug Wright, Jr., who co-owns the Doug Wright Designs business with his father, Doug Wright, Sr., have confirmed that the deal is officially done.
Neither Ruiz nor Wright provided specific reasons for the scrubbed acquisition. Both companies had been working on the deal, which included a letter of intent from the Opa-locka, Fla-based Cigarette and planned long-term contracts for the Wrights, who live and work in Melbourne, Fla.
The potential acquisition stunned members of the high-performance marine industry and raised questions about the future of Missouri-headquartered Performance Boat Center’s Wright Performance catamaran line, as well as sales to private buyers of Doug Wright hulls.
Those sales will now continue.
As for Cigarette, with its late-2021-closed acquisition of Vectorworks the famed boat builder has the ability to design and build its own catamaran line. And that is the plan, according to Ruiz.
“Cigarette will be designing its own cats,” Ruiz said. “I personally like to design our own products anyway. With purchase of Vectorworks, we have the fire power. The idea mostly was to revolutionize the cat industry and the Wright father/son combo was a good stepping stone. However, at Cigarette, after my involvement we are redesigning everything but the 515 and our new 52, which I was involved in.
“I have already personally started the design concepts for the safest cat ever built that will incorporate looks, speed and the most advanced safety equipment found on any boat that will revolutionize the industry,” he continued. “Thus far, we have increased the revenue and size of the company by at least four times. We expect that we will be at 10 times the revenue when we purchased the company. I think there is no doubt we have brought new life to Cigarette. Cigarette is not just the best boat in the market, it comes with the best lifestyle.”
Correction: Though the text in our initial reporting of this story stated that the acquisition was not complete and would not be so until the end of March, our headline stated that Cigarette Racing team had “acquired” Doug Wright Designs. That headline was incorrect. We apologize for confusion our error may have caused. The headline in the original story has been changed for accuracy.