Cherry Tree Advises Vexilar and AWC Distributing on their Sale to Rob Jablonski and Valiant Wealth
Robert Jablonski and Valiant Wealth Management Acquire Vexilar Inc.
Independent investor Robert Jablonski and Valiant Wealth Management announced the acquisition of Vexilar Incorporated and AWC Incorporated on Monday October 16, 2023. The two investors partnered to make the acquisition and Rob Jablonski will lead the businesses going forward. Vexilar and AWC were previously owned by Steven Baumann, President of Vexilar and AWC since 1995.
Vexilar is the premier ice fishing marine electronics company in the United States with a 60-year history of developing and manufacturing advanced sonar and fish-finding equipment for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its state-of-the-art sonar technology provides anglers with real-time, precise information about the underwater environment, helping them locate fish and optimize their fishing strategies.
AWC produces the K-drill line of patented ice augers, designed to revolutionize the way anglers drill through the ice. These light-weight augers are powered by high-powered cordless electric drills to make it easier for anglers to get out on the ice and get fishing.
After working for Vexilar Inc. as a Mechanical Engineer since 1977, Mr. Baumann, and Skip Christman bought the then struggling company in 1986, made monumental advancements and truly pioneered the use of ice fishing electronics with the Vexilar FL-8 Flasher. In 1995, Baumann assumed the role as company president following Christman’s unexpected passing. Mr. Baumann helped mold Vexilar into the ice fishing leader, securing numerous patents, and helping countless anglers increase their ice fishing success. Baumann’s engineering, ingenuity, vision, and contributions to the ice fishing industry are legendary. Steven Baumann was inducted into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2004, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2012. Vexilar Inc. was honored as a Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame inductee in 2015.
Valiant is a Wealth Management company based in Des Moines, Iowa, that provides modern financial and lifestyle management services. Valiant believes that a diversified portfolio is a mixture of in-market investments and directly investing in high potential privately held companies, like Vexilar.
Jablonski is a seasoned manufacturing executive with experience at General Motors, Kohler Company and Pella Corp and an avid angler and outdoor lover. “I am honored to be leading Vexilar, a true legacy brand in ice fishing in the United States and a company with a strong runway for growth.” Jablonski said in the statement. “I’m excited to be transitioning the business with Steve Baumann, an icon in the ice fishing industry, and I look forward to building on Vexilar’s and AWC’s successful histories for the long term.
“The Cherry Tree team worked tirelessly, gathering information to set up a presentation for potential buyers to see. Team members were always available and quick to respond to any questions we had. Cherry Tree was with us from the beginning of the process to the end, ready to help us in any way they could, to a successful closing on the sale of our companies.
Even though it was a lot of hard work for Cherry Tree and ourselves, we also had some fun along the way!”
— Steve and Robin Baumann, Owners, Vexilar and AWC Distributing