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Privilege Yard sold for €6 million to Royalton Investment
Privilege Yard has now been acquired, after multiple failed auctions, for just over €6 million by Royalton Investment, the parent company of SSH Maritime. The Italian yard initially went bankrupt when it failed to repay a €210 million debt.In early 2014 it had emerged following multiple reports in Italian media that Privilege Yard, a shipyard based in Civitavecchia was in financial distress. These reports of unpaid wages might have gone unnoticed if it wasn't for the 127m project the shipyard was working on at the time.The P430's construction started in 2008 with financial backing from the yacht's future owner and a consortium of five Italian banks. The yacht's construction was taking place at a 65,000 square-meter facility in Civitavecchia that Privilege Yard spent close to €40 million on according to Il Sole.At the time, the shipyard claimed it had near 1,300 employees and 9 orders for yachts of similar sizes lined up. The effort was led by Mario La Via, an Italian entrepreneur involved in the construction of several yachts, the most notable of which was the Kingdom 5KR (largest yacht in the world at the time of launch).Designed by Abdeslam Laraki, the P430 was expected to be launched by the end of 2012. In December 2012, it was however divulged that one of the banks (Banca Etruria) had encountered problems and put a stop to the project's financing. The shipyard had received a loan of €100 million from these banks according to Repubblica. The project was later self-funded by La Via, according to a statement by the shipyard, but construction eventually stopped in March 2014.The gates were then reported to be locked at the shipyard in June 2015 by the Court of Civitavecchia after the company failed to settle its €210 million debt. The next development in this story came in June 2016 as the first auction came to a close without a buyer. The starting price was set at €94 million for the shipyard's facility and its assets, including the P430."82% complete financially" according to an advert placed by the shipyard marketing the P430 for sale at an asking price of €279,000,000, the yacht has over €80,000,000 in upgrades. This brochure used to market the yacht at the 2014 MYS listed a 550 square meter owner's apartment and several swimming pools amongst the Privilege One's key amenities.In August 2016, La Via and Antonio Battista, CFO of Privilege Yard, were placed under house arrest after alleged fraudulent bankruptcy fillings. According to La Nazione, La Via and his team were accused by Civitavecchia prosecution of sending at least €63 million to an offshore bank account in the British Virgin Islands.The newest development in this story now comes as Royalton Investment, the holding company behind SSH Maritime, acquired Privilege Yard for over €6 million on October 22nd. The company, led by Jimmy Frangi, its CEO, has been known to participate in large scale refit projects such as the 86-meter Chakra and 72-meter Serenity. Prior to the yard acquisition, it had already purchased the unfinished new-build back in 2017 at an undisclosed valuation.
Ex-wife’s claim to seize 115m Luna dismissed by Dubai courts
Shariah courts in Dubai have dismissed a claim from Ms Akhmedova to seize the 115-meter explorer yacht Luna. This comes following one of the UK’s largest divorce cases between the Akhmedovs. Extensively refitted since her purchase in 2014 by Farkhad Akhmedov, Luna built in 2010, remains one of the most iconic yachts on the water.Following a UK ruling that Farkhad Akhmedov had to pay £453 million to his ex-wife in their divorce, Dubai Sharia courts have now dismissed the ex-wife’s claim that the UAE courts had a duty to uphold the ruling and seize the 115-meter superyacht. Courts have now ruled against a freezing order previously placed on the yacht. As part of the decision, Tatiana Akhmedova was ordered to pay her ex-husband’s legal fees.Previously, Luna was being held in Dubai since February while the proceedings were ongoing. The yacht is now moored in Prince Rashid Harbour. The decision comes as Mr Akhmedov is petitioning against a UK divorce ruling that required the owner to hand over the boat to his wife as part of the settlement.Ms Akhmedova’s lawyers have since said they intend to challenge this ruling once they’ve had time to review it. “Once published, Ms Akhmedova’s lawyers look forward to the opportunity to scrutinise the court’s reasoning and to consider any grounds for appeal.“ a spokesman for them said.Built for Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, Luna was originally intended as a more sleek version of her owner's existing explorer, the 113-meter Le Grand Bleu. At the time of her launch, the swimming pool installed on Luna was the largest that anyone had ever seen onboard a superyacht.Luna's current owner, which Forbes names as Farkhad Akhmedov, purchased the yacht from Abramovich in 2014. The man, valued at $1,3 billion by the magazine, later initiated a 14-month refit in Germany that gave the yacht a sleek exterior look and implemented several improvements on one of the world's most iconic yachts.A spokesman for Mr Akhmedov said: “Mr Akhmedov is delighted but not surprised by today’s court decision in favour of the Akhmedov family trust. “He believes the attempts by Tatiana and her team - backed by London litigation financier Burford Capital - to tie down family assets around the world are as misguided as the original English High Court was in granting Tatiana a second divorce 16 years after their marriage was validly dissolved in Russia. “He believes it is a massive gamble which Tatiana and her backers simply cannot win, and is reassured that the wise judges of Dubai’s local courts have seen Tatiana’s cynical claims for what they are.”
111-metre Project TIS by Lurssen heading to the Baltic sea for sea trials
111-meter superyacht Project TIS, which was previously known under the codename Palo Alto, is heading to the Baltic Sea for sea trials. Project TIS was unveiled in November, 2016, as she had very secretive technical launch which took place on October, 2016, just after 11 months after her keel was laid.Photo by @superyachtblogTIS was commissioned and managed by Moran Yacht & Ship for their long-time charter client, who has chartered some of the largest and highest quality superyachts in the world over the past seven years. This unique experience of the owner, has led to his input almost in every detail on the superyacht.Photo by @superyachtblogShe was launched in August, 2018 in Rendsburg, being the first superyacht launched by the yard in 2018. Just before her sea trials, she has been finally outfitted. She boasts an interior and exterior styling by Andrew Winch Design and features 2 helicopter pads, a 12-meter swimming pool, a resort inspired spa in the aft of the vessel, and palatial staircases that to date have only been seen in palaces. Her tender garage can accommodate 2 x 13-meter tenders, 2 additional 10-meter tenders, a submarine, and a abundant selection of other water toys. Lack of space will not be an issue for this family-oriented owner. In addition to a massive private owner’s deck, eleven other guests staterooms will accommodate twenty-two additional guests in absolute comfort.Photo by @superyachtblog
IPO: Superyacht's difficult history with public markets
Initial public offerings (IPO) are the stuff of most startups' dreams, yet whereas they have been a strong vehicle for exits in other sectors, the rare yachting firms that have listed their shares on public markets have often struggled to perform on stock exchanges.iStock/CAHKTIn July 2017, Global Yachting Group, the holding company behind several superyacht painting and maintenance brands such as Pinmar and Rolling Stock went public on London's AIM exchange. This followed a management buyout backed by private equity firm Lonsdale Capital in 2016. With revenues of €54.6 million in 2016 and an EBITDA of €6.7 million, the holding was valued at £55 million following its IPO.Since, however, its share price has dropped from over £140 per share to just £34, and its market capitalisation dropped down to just £16.25 million, nearly a 70% drop in just over a year. The drop was primarily caused by the market reacting poorly to a drop in new build business secured by the group, which broke even in the first half of 2018. In its statement, Remy Millot, however remained confident business would pick up in coming quarters.On the brokerage side, YCO has famously been the highest profile firm to attempt a public offering on London's AIM exchange back in 2008. Its shares were then trading at 49 pence per share on the back of high profile clients and revenues leading to a valuation of near £25 million. Shareholders included the co-founders, the Monegasque Pastor family, and a set of investment firms. However, after 4 years of a difficult market, its share price dropped from 49p to 3p per share.Ultimately, YCO chose to delist from the public markets in 2012, despite recording £27 million in revenue in 2010 and £588,000 in net profits. After delisting, Fifty Four Four Ltd, a company owned by Charles Birkett, YCO founder and CEO, gathered 50.4% of YCO Group's share capital and made a mandatory offer to the minority to buy them out at 1p per share, giving the business a £485,000 valuation. Since delisting, YCO has continued to be a dominant player in the superyacht brokerage and management space, representing yachts such as the 119-meter M/Y A at one time.The drive of the superyacht market to make an IPO work likely comes from the success of the strategy in the smaller boating segment. Beneteau, one of the largest players in the space with sales of over €1.2 billion in 2017, has been public since 1989, its share value rising over 700% since. Primarily active in 10-20m boat construction, the company is currently sitting at a market cap of €1.16 billion.MarineMax, a leading US boat dealer went public back in 1998 at $13,75 per share, trading today at twice the valuation after a strong 20x recovery since the 2008 financial crisis, which saw its stock fall to under $2 per share in 2009. Today MarineMax is valued at over $600 million. Mastercraft, the famous powerboat manufacturer went public in 2015 at under $16 per share and trades today at over $32 per share with a valuation of over $600 million.Superyachts' difficult financial forecasting and small market in absolute unit numbers continues to puzzle public investors, strangling the sector into resorting to purely private funding and capping its exit potential. Some, however, remain on the hunt for a formula to solve the public markets for superyachts with leading companies like Gulf Craft contemplating a listing in the near future.
A new mid-size player in the fairing and paint industry
Performance Yacht Painting, specializing in painting for superyachts and megayachts have announced that they have acquired a share of Ve.Ga Yachts, an Italian finishing and fairing company based in Northern Italy. Both companies have been working together on a number of refit and new-build projects in France and Italy over the past eight years. Both companies will have a combined turnover of approximately €15 million and staff of 250 workers in high season.Ve.Ga Yachts have considerable experience in finishing and fairing on new builds, having worked on over 250 projects since their inception in 1986. The company has worked with world-renowned shipbuilders such as Azimut Benetti, Baglietto, CRN, Italian Sea Group, Mondo Marine, Tankoa and Wally. Specialist in finishing and refinishing, PYP has developed proprietary techniques enabling them to obtain quality levels that consistently exceed Icomia recommended GU levels (95+)."We believe that shipyards in Europe will be interested in working with a new mid-size player who can provide competitive prices while maintaining close customer relations”.For Gilles Delpy, Managing Director of Performance Yacht Painting, “we have been wanting to increase our presence across the border for several years so this acquisition is an important step in our strategy to grow our business. The fairing and paint industry is largely monopolised by a few very large players and multiple small service companies. We believe that shipyards in Europe will be interested in working with a new mid-size player who can provide competitive prices while maintaining close customer relations”.Gaetano Vella, Founding Director of Ve.Ga Yachts added: “We have demonstrated over the past 30 years that Italy still very much houses the ‘Italian Masters’. Our activity, which consists in sculpting the shape of a superyacht, is highly complementary to the faultless brushwork to be found at PYP. This is a natural next step in our relationship and we plan on further merging our businesses.”

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