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


Princess AVK

Annual revenue: $39.47 billion (2014)

Chairman & Founder: Wang Jianlin

Brands: Sunseeker

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.

LVMH


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.

Gavio Group


Fast - © Baglietto
Annual turnaround: €2.2 billion (2012)

Brands: BagliettoCerri Cantieri Navali, Bertram

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.

Privinvest Group


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.

Azimut-Benetti Group


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.

Ferretti Group


Chopi Chopi © Yacht Harbour
Maximum recorded value: 1.5 billion (2007)

Current owners: Weichai Group, Royal Bank of Scotland

Brands: FerrettiCustom LinePershingCRN, Itama, Mochi Craft, Riva

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.


Vagit Alekperov

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.

In March 2016, Heesen launched its newest flagship, the 70m Galactica Super Nova (Project Kometa) which was built for Mr. Alekperov according to Dutch publication, Quote.

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.

Latest News

The 18th A85 Hull to be launched by Arcadia Yachts
The Italian shipyard Arcadia Yachts revealed that it is launching another A85 hull with the interior renewed by Milan-based studio Hot Lab. The yacht will offer 100 square metres of living space on the main deck with a plenty of room for guests, and 35 square metres on the lower deck, enabling everyone on board to enjoy their time on the water. The 18th hull will have unique features with classic marine and muted palette.Hot Lab’s head of design Enrico Lumini told that in the process of “renewing the décor of the interiors, they focused on small style changes to create a fresh, modern mood that was suitable for the Arcadia A85”.Photo: Arcadia Yachts"The A85 is an iconic model, not just for Arcadia, but for the entire yachting market”, as Ugo Pellegrino, CEO of Arcadia Yachts, commented.The vessel can accommodate up to 8 guests in its 4 staterooms. It is able to reach a speed of 18.5 knots and cruise at 16.5 knots with no difficulties as she has the twin Diesel MAN 730 hp engines.
The first VQ115 Veloce by Vanquish Superyachts - potentially the world’s fastest superyacht for its category
The Netherlands-based Vanquish Superyachts has received a new order - for the new 35-metre VQ115 Veloce yacht. Translated exactly as “fast” the model is set to be the world’s fastest aluminium superyacht with normal – albeit state-of-the-art – diesel engines. The very first VQ115 Veloce has been commissioned by and developed with a repeat client who loves entertaining large groups of people.The initial discussions were based on design concepts for a VQ90 but quickly evolved as the owner added an extra cabin, a dedicated dining area on the lower deck and two garages. A trio of MTU-Rolls-Royce 2600s engines, backed up by surface drives, will power the VQ115 Veloce to an exceptional speed of 53 knots. This makes the vessel, quite possibly, the fastest aluminium yacht over 30 metres with ‘normal’ diesel engines – i.e. non-turbine-driven – built to date. Studio Delta in the Netherlands is responsible for the naval architecture of the hull, working in tandem with Swedish company Petestep to optimise comfort and performance levels and increase efficiency by over 15% at top speeds.Exterior designer Guido de Groot and his team have a relatively narrow hull on which to base their design. An impressive range of up to 600 nm will be possible when running on one or two engines, with an extra fuel tank available for cruising at lower speeds. Outdoor entertainment is a major factor in all areas of the yacht. The expansive foredeck, for instance, has a large seating area for lounging and dining, plus the option to lift up the sun beds and create a saltwater jacuzzi. The interior features a futuristic style to match the exterior design, with a casual groove, emblematic Vanquish details and 45-degree treatments. A smart layout makes optimum use of the enlarged space available. The main deck saloon will be fully tailored to the owner’s wishes with movable furniture to allow flexibility of occasion and time of day. Office space is included for when work calls, there is a neat pantry with its own cocktail bar, plus a day head to keep the lower deck private. Stairs rise to the sport flybridge above while the aft door opens fully to create a unified space with the aft deck: matching floors will ensure continuity between the outdoor and indoor spaces. The lower deck features a more extensive galley and a U-shaped seating/dining area in a country kitchen style. Accommodations include a full-beam master suite, a VIP and a guest cabin, all with their own bathrooms. A dedicated media room includes a large television, a high-end sound system plus two Pullmans that bring the potential sleeping capacity to eight. There are also berths for four crew members. This potentially record-breaking powerboat is due to be delivered to the Mediterranean at the end of June 2022 so the owners can enjoy the summer before having her transported Stateside for the Caribbean season.
Mangusta GranSport 33 series - the novelty by Overmarine Group S.P.A. reaching the US shores to debut at FLIBS 2020
Mangusta Yachts, a brand within the Italian Overmarine Group S.P.A., is presenting the very first unit of the brand new Mangusta GranSport 33 series which blends good looks and great performance. The world première will take place at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (28th Oct. – 1st Nov., 2020). Despite being the entry level model in the Mangusta GranSport line, the yacht can offer spacious volumes and technical details that can normally be found on larger yachts. She can surely be defined as a 33-metre vessel with the heart and soul of a true megayacht. The model was penciled by Alberto Mancini in cooperation with Overmarine Group’s technical departments.The Mangusta GranSport 33 is a sporty and yet extremely comfortable vessel, boasting timeless elegance and a very strong personality. She perfectly combines style and technical solutions, the utmost expression of this flawless blend being her outstanding performance and unmatched efficiency. The same design style harmoniously unravels across both the exteriors and the interiors, turning every inch of the yacht into a pleasant, functional space – something that is a real hallmark of the Mangusta brand. Overmarine Group’s Interiors Department has worked side by side with the designer Mancini and the Owner to select the perfect furniture, furnishings, and décor. The final outcome is a stylish, but also extremely functional yacht, just what her American Owner had asked for.This model can rely on a propulsion package featuring 4 Volvo IPS engines that can push her to a maximum speed of 26 knots while ensuring reduced consumption against vessels of the same size with traditional propulsion systems, and maximum comfort thanks to extremely low vibrations and impressive noiselessness. Other distinctive technical features on this yacht are her excellent maneuverability, enhanced by the Joystick Docking system, the dynamic positioning system allowing to keep the craft stable in one position, and the electrical stabilizing fins. Her very limited draft of 6’2” (1.9 meters), which means she can comfortably cruise even in very shallow waters, makes this yacht ideal, for instance, in the Bahamas in winter or the Hamptons in the summer. (Press release and photos by Mangusta Yachts)
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) 2020
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show located steps from the beach in sunny South Florida is ready to take off. The show will host 1,000+ exhibitors and will have over 1,300+ boats on display. Photo: FLIBS 2019Starting on October 28, 2020, and ending on November 1, 2020, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show could have a positive impact of over $1 billion on the local economy. The FLIBS Boat Show will be held in accordance with AllSecure health and safety standards to guarantee the safety of all staff, attendees, exhibitors and crew members. This became possible as a result of discussions that took place between government officials from Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale. Photo: FLIBS 2019The President of Marine Industries Association of South Florida revealed that “FLIBS will boost the economy through direct sales, more hotel stays, transportation, dining and recreation”. To guarantee the safety and health guidelines, FLIBS will offer enhanced transportation and parking. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show added extra shuttle buses and water taxi services. Photo: FLIBS 2019
New construction update was issued on the fourth S501 Hybrid Superyacht by Tankoa Yachts
The all-aluminium hybrid Fourth S501 Hybrid Superyacht is at around 40% completion level. The shipyard will have the cutting-edge technology that will push the boundaries in terms of the efficiency in the fuel consumption and allow the superyacht to be cruising for long-hours. The yacht’s superstructure and hull are joined and complete. The 49.99-metre Tankoa yacht is being prepared for the installation of the new equipment and main on-board machinery, with yacht’s delivery being set for the late 2021. Photo: Tankoa YachtsThe Fourth S501 Hybrid Superyacht features the hybrid propulsion package that has been developed as a result of a collaboration between Man and Siemens. The package will include full electric, diesel-electric and traditional diesel cruising modes.Photo: Tankoa Yachts The yacht will be having an outfitting phase soon, as the Italian shipyard is about to start its preparations. Interestingly, Tankoa is planning to increase its workforce as they are planning to acquire an additional facility adjacent to a Genoa facility. In addition, Chief executive Vincenzo Poerio said that they are “preparing to grow the company in a sustainable way to optimize operational costs and increase market segment”.Photo: Tankoa Yachts