70% of companies in the yachting sector describe themselves as leading according to a study performed by Yacht Harbour on a sample of over 100 companies. It can therefore be hard for customers to differentiate at first glance the real financial position of companies and their scale.
Following a very active past 20 years in the mergers and acquisitions space in the yachting industry, some behemoths have emerged, controlling a large portion of the market and shaping the industry moving forward. Some high-profile individuals and corporations have also become involved in the superyacht industry in recent years. We have therefore investigated some of the most powerful corporations and individuals in the yachting space.
Dalian Wanda Group
Annual revenue: $39.47 billion (2014)
Chairman & Founder: Wang Jianlin
Largest commercial real estate operator in China and world's largest cinema chain operator, Wanda Group was founded in 1988 by Wang Jianlin. The company has today 634 billion yuans in assets and manages over 26 million square meters of hotel property. In 2013, the company decided to purchase UK-based yacht manufacturer, Sunseeker.
Having gone through losses of 9 million pounds in 2009, Sunseeker restructured its debt and was taken over by FL Partners, an Irish private equity company. Sunseeker was sold in 2013 to the Wanda Group for around 300 million pounds according to the Financial Times.
Symphony - © Feadship Fanclub
Annual revenue: $35.6 billion (2015)
Chairman & CEO: Bernard Arnault
Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, better known as the French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH, is perhaps not so surprisingly also a player in the superyacht industry. In 2008, L Capital, the company's investment arm, purchased Princess Yachts in a deal worth 200 million pounds according to Reuters, with support from the Calyon investment bank.
Later that year, the conglomerate strengthened their position in the company with the purchase of Royal Van Lent, part of the Feadship organization, for a reported sum between 200-400 million euros. In 2007, Royal Van Lent had posted sales of 100 million euros.
Fast - © Baglietto
Annual turnaround: €2.2 billion (2012)
Gruppo Gavio, a large Italian corporation whose main business lies in motorway concessions with the company operating over 1400 kilometers of motorways in Italy, also has interests in the yachting industry. In 2012, Bejamino Gavio led an acquisition of the iconic Italian Baglietto shipyard for a sum of €18.5 million. The shipyard had been through some rough waters during the financial crisis resulting in 73 million euros of negative equity in 2009.
The group further consolidated its position in the sector by purchasing Cerri Cantieri Navali, a few months before the Baglietto deal, and by later acquiring US-based Bertram in 2015.
Siren © Yacht Harbour
Current owners: Akram & Iskandar Safa
Privinvest Group is one of Europe's largest maritime corporations which is involved in naval manufacturing and is also involved in the superyacht industry. Founded by the Safa brothers, Privinvest purchased Constructions mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) based in Cherbourg, France in 1992. The company then managed to turn around the fledging shipyard with new orders from the Middle East according to the Independent.
In 2007, the group funded 30% of the Abu Dhabi MAR company which ventured into shipbuilding through ADMShipyards and worked on the 141-meter Yas. In 2009, Privinvest continued to consolidate its position in the sector by acquiring German shipyard Nobiskrug.
I Dynasty © Superyachts Monaco
Maximum recorded asset net worth: €300 million (2011)
Current owner: Paolo Vitelli
Brands: Benetti, Azimut
Azimut was established in the early 1970s by Paolo Vitelli as a dealership of Amerglass boats. The company then evolved into yacht manufacturing by building its first 43ft boat. It later delivered Failaka, the first 30-metre fibreglass yacht ever built, to a Kuwaiti prince. In 1985, Azimut took over the Fratelli Benetti boatyard in Viareggio, setting the roots for the group. The company later started collaborating with young designer, Stefano Righini, which would bring the Azimut lines the company is known for today.
The company acquired the Gobbi shipyard in 2001 which now produced the group's Atlantis range from 10m to 18m. In 2004, the group acquired Fraser Yachts, a large yacht brokerage company. It later developed Marina di Varazze and the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow. By 2011, the group's net assets grew to €300 million according to this presentation with a turnover of €600 million, a significant cut on its €1 billion turnover in 2008 according to the Financial Times.
Chopi Chopi © Yacht Harbour
Maximum recorded value: €1.5 billion (2007)
Current owners: Weichai Group, Royal Bank of Scotland
Ferretti was established in 1968 as the first marine division of Alessandro and Norberto Ferretti's family business. In 1971, the company delivered its first wooden motor-sailer and by 1982 it began producing boats for sport fishing with a flybridge. By 1996, the group decided to expand into a larger range and set up Custom Line, a division meant to operate in the growing 26-40m range. In following years, the company multiplied acquisitions buying CNA in 1998, CRN in 1999, Riva in 2000, Mochi Craft in 2001 and Itama in 2004.
As the company was preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) after having been acquired in a leveraged buyout by Candover Investments which put the Group's value at €1.5 billion in 2007, the financial crisis led to a significant drop in sales. As a result, the Group had to restructure debt and its creditors, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland, converted a portion of their €1.2 billion debt into equity according to Bloomberg.
Ferretti Group was eventually sold to Weichai Group, a state-owned Chinese company, the largest maker of bulldozer's in China.
Galactica Super Nova - © Dick Holthius
Net worth: $11.1 billion (2016)
Brands: Heesen Yachts
Mr. Vagit Alekperov is currently considered to be Russia's 9th richest man according to Forbes. In May 2015 it became known that the head of Lukoil, Russia's largest independent oil company, is the current owner of Heesen.
In 2008, Mr. Alekperov purchased Heesen Yachts from founder, Frans Heesen, for a reported sum of 100 million euros. The shipyard posted profits of €5.2 million in 2013 according to Forbes Russia.
Mohammed Al Barwani
Turquoise - © Ocean Independence
Net worth: $1.2 billion (2015)
Brands: Oceanco, Turquoise Yachts
Energy tycoon, Mohammed al-Barwani made his wealth investing in oil, gas, minerals and manufacturing. In 2010 he however decided to purchase Dutch shipyard, Oceanco from Greek shipping magnate, Theodore Angelopoulos. First company to build spa pools on superyachts, Oceanco has much benefited from the hands-on approach of Al Barnawi delivering the beautiful Nirvana for Russian billionaire Potanin as well as expanding its facility to be able to construct yachts up to 160 meters.
In December 2013, al-Barwani further consolidated his position in the industry, purchasing Turkish yacht manufacturer, Proteksan (now Turquoise Yachts), which was struggling following the highly publicized sinkage of M/Y Yogi.
The first CLB72 was launched in 2019 and has rapidly become one of the fastest-selling models in the CL Yachts stable. Construction is now complete on the seventh unit of CLB72, and the yacht builder is preparing her for delivery to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Of the five already sold, four were delivered to clients in the USA and one in Hong Kong. CL Yachts has introduced sliding windows in the galley and, for the first time, fully opening up-down electric windows in the adjacent saloon, providing an inside-outside feel to the main deck’s open-plan interior so guests feel at one with the surroundings. The four guest cabins on the lower deck also benefit from improved natural ventilation thanks to the introduction of opening port lights.Up top, the expansive flybridge now offers an electric grill and enhanced L-shaped seating arrangement under the shade of the hardtop to ensure guests enjoy alfresco cooking and dining in fun, convivial ways.CLB72 has world-class engineering and RINA-certified composite hull construction. Working with celebrated naval architect Howard Apollonio and leading marine structural engineering firm Gurit, CLB72 offers agile and uncompromising performance. As standard, the yacht is powered by optional twin Volvo Penta IPS 1050 engines for a top speed of 27 knots alongside a highly efficient fuel consumption rate. The sixth and seventh units of CLB72 have been specified with the Volvo Penta IPS 1350 for a top speed of 31 knots.“We are delighted with the positive response to CLB72 in such a short space of time, and are confident that it offers an outstanding family cruising experience on the water. The valuable feedback from each of our clients means we have already been able to make a number of enhancements to elevate the yachting experience on CLB72. As a company, we never stop learning and growing,” says Martin Lo, CL Yachts Director.CL Yachts’ goal is to offer unparalleled experiences to the modern explorer. The luxury performance brand stands apart from its competitors thanks to its unique approach to design – driven by CL Yacht’s core value of innovation. Fusing progressive design with engineering prowess and state-of-the-art technology, every element of CL Yachts’ vessels are meticulously geared to steer luxury into uncharted territories.Credits: CL Yachts
July 28, 2021
Organisers of the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show have revealed that the visitors will discover the Yacht Design and Innovation Hub, a brand-new exhibition area dedicated to design and innovative solutions in superyachting. The MYS organisers aim at enhancing the first-time superyacht experience of the new generation of customers who plan to build their future yacht and give them the opportunity to meet with superyacht designers and naval architects.During the show’s four days, designers will hold 15-minute talks about, obviously, design in yachting and also about their experience or projects.The Yacht Design and Innovation Hub is part of the new programme developed by the MYS Organisers to offer a bespoke experience of unparalleled prestige to future superyacht charterers and owners in visit to the Monaco Yacht Show.Located on virage Louis Chiron in Port Hercule, inside the new show’s Dockside area (superyacht and tender exhibition), the Yacht Design and Innovation Hub will complete the show’s historical Designer Gallery on Quai des Etats-Unis where visitors are used to directly meeting up with the designers and naval architects on their booths.Credits: MYS
July 28, 2021
Tecnomar has announced the delivery of the first ever Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 created in partnership with Lamborghini. “This new high-performance motor yacht perfectly encapsulates the speed, engineering, and design of the iconic Italian supercars in a sea setting, making it a true “Lamborghini on water,” says shipyard’s Instagram.The 19m yacht is inspired by the hybrid super sports car Lamborghini Siàn FKP 37. There are two main innovative elements at the foundation of its design concept: speed and dynamic lightness. Thanks to the presence of two MAN V12-2000HP engines the motor yacht will reach a fantastic speed of 60 knots and will be the fastest vessel of the Tecnomar fleet by The Italian Sea Group. The use of carbon fiber, typical of the Lamborghini cars, grants the classification in the range of ultralight vessels with a maximum weight of 24 tons for 63 feet length. Tecnomar is a brand of The Italian Sea Group, and is renowned for building sleek performance yachts. The brand has launched 289 yachts since 1987.Credits: Tecnomar
July 28, 2021
After 24 months of engineering and construction, the 41m Dynamiq GTT 135 Stefania was completed at the company’s shipyard in Massa, Tuscany.The full-aluminium superyacht features an exterior created by Monaco-based studio Dobroserdov Design. The exclusive colour palette of metallic gold and dark brown sets her apart from all the white yachts on the water. Her reverse bow looks impressive and fresh, and expresses the innovative, chic soul of Dynamiq yachts. With next-generation exterior styling by Dobroserdov Design, Van Oossanen Naval Architects have engineered an extremely efficient and seaworthy hull able to offer a comfortable ride even in rough conditions. With twin MAN V12 1650 engines she reaches a maximum speed of 21 knots, with a range of 5000 miles at 10 knots, all while consuming as little as 50 litres per hour. With this range the owners can enjoy two seasons during the year – in the Med and the Caribbean. Her shallow draft of 1.8m is ideal for cruising the remote cays and shoal waters Bahamas as well. She has a five cabin layout. The interior is designed by Miami based Giuseppina Arena in modern art deco style and features Fendi furniture, bespoke carpets by OT and is full of soft gold and natural mother of pearl details. She also has a 2.2m ceiling height throughout the interior. The main deck has a 10 person aft pool. The open-air beach club area (with a second bar) allows owners and guests to enjoy the en plein air lifestyle close to the sea. The oversized sundeck of 120 sq. m is divided into two different zones with a hot tub and a weather protected dining area.The real fireplace is located in the main salon and a unique atomiser system featuring scents from the iconic Ferragamo brand, with its latest collection of home perfumes “Bianco di Carrara” for a subtle and luxurious aroma on board. Dynamiq also joined forces with German VIP car outfitter Klassen to develop a bespoke wheelhouse by Klassen, which comes with the same quality and style of Klassen ultra-luxury shuttle vans, mirroring the sporty trim and high-end finishes. "Stefania is the evolution of our full-aluminium Gran Turismo Transatlantic concept and represents everything you would expect in a medium-sized product from a boutique family shipyard: exclusive looks, advanced technologies and attention to detail,” says Sergei Dobroserdov, Dynamiq founder. “The difference from our previous models is that the design and engineering has now been developed to the utmost degree. I am very happy with how the GTT135 looks: she’s modern and elegant with lots of design details and interesting elements. We are happy to state after the sea trials how her many technical innovations take performance and comfort to the next level.” Dynamiq was founded in 2014 by experienced yacht broker and designer Sergei Dobroserdov. Dynamiq is the first company in the superyacht industry to introduce an online configurator, allowing the yacht to be easily and transparently customised down to the last detail. Dynamiq unveiled its first launch, 39m Spring (ex-Jetsetter), at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show to wide acclaim. The following project, the GTT 115 M/Y Jaaber, was developed in conjunction with the renowned Studio F.A. Porsche design firm and successfully unveiled at the 2017 MYS. The latest addition to the Dynamiq fleet is the GTM 90 Beach Club and new Global series of long-range explorer yachts.Credits: Dynamiq
July 27, 2021
The French-based Ocea shipyard has just begun the construction of a new 32.7m yacht. She will be the tenth motor yacht built by Ocea. Like all her predecessors she will be completely custom built. In the spirit of all Ocea yachts, this aluminium ocean-going yacht will also be capable of circumnavigations in optimal comfort and safety.Reducing the boat’s environmental footprint, in particular its greenhouse gas emissions, was the guiding principle behind the entire design. As a result, this will be the first Ocea yacht with engines that meet IMO Tier III emission standards, allowing it to sail in Emission Control Areas defined by the International Maritime Organization. Paolyre, 32.7m. Ocea’s previous superyacht projectThe yacht will also be equipped with the latest generation of batteries to keep the main on-board comfort features running at night without the need for generators. She will be able to reach a top speed of 15 knots with a range of 4000 miles at 10 knots.Kelonia, 30.2m. Ocea’s previous superyacht projectThe Ocea Group has three production sites on the French Atlantic coast – in Les Sables-d’Olonne, Saint-Nazaire and La Rochelle – as well as a location in Fontenay-le-Comte. The Ocea shipyard is a part of a Ocea Group and pioneer in aluminium shipbuilding. Capable of producing all types of vessels – catamarans, monohulls, displacement hulls, semi-planing hulls, and planing hulls – up to 90 meters long, Ocea Shipbuilding delivers 15 to 20 units every year.Credits: Ocea
July 27, 2021