By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
Florida’s Rick Scott, the nation’s wealthiest senator, just got between $15 million and $75 million richer, according to a financial disclosure report filed with the U.S. Senate last week.
Republican Scott and his wife, Ann, sold their individual stakes in Valterra Products Holdings LLC, a North American provider of services and aftermarket products and accessories for the recreational vehicle (RV) industry, to Swedish mobile living giant Dometic Group AB.
Dometic, a publicly traded company based in Stockholm with net sales in 2019 of $2.17 billion, announced its acquisition of Valterra on April 22. The sale price was not disclosed, but was “fully financed by cash on hand,” according to a Dometic press release.
Dometic did disclose that Valterra’s 2020 sales were approximately $94 million, with an operating margin and an organic sales growth of 12 percent. Valterra has 550 employees in California, Florida and British Columbia, and a manufacturing plant in Mexico.
Because federal disclosure rules are vague, requiring only that elected officials value the purchase and sale of assets within wide ranges, precisely how much the Scotts made on the Valterra deal is not known.
For example, last week’s report says a trio of Valterra securities sales – two by Ann Scott and one by Rick Scott – closed on May 25. Each sale was valued at an amount between $5 million and $25 million, and each block of shares was “held through an investment fund,” the disclosure report says.
Take-away by richest senator
To get a better idea as to the Scotts’ take-away, Florida Bulldog examined Securities and Exchange Commission filings by a Connecticut investment advisory firm that manages tens of millions of dollars in Scott family assets.
Florida Bulldog reported in 2014 that then-Gov. Scott and his wife acquired their Valterra holdings in May 2013 via G. Scott Capital Partners LLC, also known as Scott Capital Partners. The deal was accomplished using two limited liability corporations that Scott Capital’s SEC filings then valued at $11.5 million.
Two months ago, on April 30, 2021, Scott Capital reported in another SEC filing that it was holding a “single-purpose” private fund, GSCP Valterra LLC, with a gross asset value of $69.3 million at the end of 2020. Scott Capital also disclosed that GSCP Valterra LLC had nine beneficial owners, but did not name them or identify the size of their interests.
Sen. Scott’s annual report for 2019, filed in August 2020, shows that Valterra also paid handsome dividends. The senator reported receiving between $100,000 and $1 million in dividends that year. Ann Scott reported that one batch of her Valterra shares paid her more than $1 million in dividends in 2019. Her second tranche paid between $100,000 and $1 million the same year.
In April 2020, the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics examined the personal finances of senators and representatives in Washington and calculated their estimated net worth. “Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is the wealthiest lawmaker with nearly $260 million in net assets. Scott dethroned Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) for the top spot after he won election in 2018, despite injecting nearly $64 million of his own money into his campaign,” the center wrote.
The Valterra deal will certainly spike Scott’s net worth. For example, the senator’s most recent annual financial disclosure form listed Ann Scott’s twin Valterra holdings as being worth only “over $1 million” apiece. Last week’s sale notice raised the total value of those holdings to between $10 million and $50 million.
Sen. Scott has several committee assignments, including the Armed Services Committee, Homeland Security and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee — and is the ranking member of its Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade and Export Promotion. He has yet to file his annual disclosure report for 2020. It was due May 17, but like last year, Scott obtained a 90 day extension. His 2020 report is now due no later than Aug. 15.