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.
Previously, YachtHarbour has announced that the founder of Southern Wind Shipyard, Willy Persico passed away. Willy Persico’s untimely death caught his family, friends, partners and employees by surprise, but SWS’s founder and CEO left the shipyard well prepared for the future.Thanks to his diligent mind, his passion, commitment and foresight, Persico charted the route for a smooth transition of the shipyard by preparing the already existing management team for new responsibilities and selecting partners and shareholders who could guarantee the successful continuation of the shipyard that he was so devoted to.Southern Wind will now be run by the tightly knit team of his trusted SWS managers, who are also shareholders, with the fundamental backing and support of three SWS owners.Willy Persico left an interview in the occasion of the SWS 25th anniversary, that already outlined his plans for his shipyard’s future:“The shipyard, during its 25 years of activity, has invested significant resources in the selection and growth of management to create a strong, skilled and harmonious team which is now bearing fruit. Companies are made by people; at the Shipyard in Cape Town as well as at the offices of Pegaso in Genoa, I have my ‘pillars’ and I can count on their experience and advice from design to building and from marketing to customer care. In the future my team of managers will become the leader of the company to continue my way to build boats, or, maybe, their way to build boats.” THE MANAGEMENT TEAM SHAREHOLDERSMarco Alberti has been at SWS since 1994 and became General Manager 15 years ago. His heartfelt words express his sadness for Persico’ s sudden death and his gratitude for having worked with such an inspirational CEO. “Coming to terms with Willy’s death is a challenge for us. But he was an excellent tactician who has left us an example of passion and tenacity and a well-charted course to follow.”Andrea Micheli, who has worked with Persico since 2003 and became Pegaso Sales Manager in 2008 echoes Alberti’s words: “Southern Wind will continue to do what it does best and in the best possible way. We are honoured to take on Willy’s legacy and will continue to walk in his footsteps, moving with renewed commitment and energy towards our goals.”Alberto Del Cinque and Giampaolo Spera will flank Alberti and Micheli. Del Cinque began working at Pegaso in 1994 then became General Affair Manager in Southern Wind in 2000, and Spera has added on to two decades of experience as an executive in the nautical sector becoming Director of Southern Wind about two years ago.THE OWNER SHAREHOLDERSThe supporting group of shareholders is made of 3 passionate, faithful and committed owners, all of whom can be considered “paid-up subscriber” of Southern Wind values and philosophy. Among them, Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, Executive Vice Chairman of the Acciona Group and three times Southern Wind owner. He has these words: “Our mission will not be to substitute Willy, but to make sure that his vision and heritage go on for years to come.”The second shareholder/owner continues: “I have always considered SWS to be a family more than just a shipyard. It will be my pleasure and commitment to make sure that SWS continues to be a magnet for innovation, talent and positivity.” The third one concludes: “We all have experience as entrepreneurs on an international level and we will put that pool of expertise to work for Southern Wind so that it can continue to build the same seaworthy, elegant and performing yachts that we know and love.” While all the team will sorely miss Willy Persico, the future of the shipyard he so lovingly and diligently built is sure to be in good hands thanks to his careful and thoughtful planning.
June 15, 2018
Previously, YachtHarbour has reported that Heesen sold its 80-metre Project Cosmos.Now, the Dutch yard is announcing that Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design has been appointed by the owners of Project Cosmos to design the interior of their new yacht.This is the third collaboration between Heesen and the award-winning Dutch studio. Previously, Sinot worked on the design of Azamanta, the first in the 55m Fast Displacement Steel class, and the 70m FDHF multi-award-winning Galactica Super Nova, Heesen’s largest yacht launched to date.At 80.07 metres, 1,700 Gross Tons and with a top speed of 29 knots, Project Cosmos will be the world’s largest and fastest full-aluminium motor yacht with conventional propeller propulsion system.The interior design for this exciting project is inspired by elements from nature. Natural mathematics, such as the Fibonacci sequence, form the basis for the interior architecture. Together with clear graphic lines the result is a clean architectural environment. Special, featured materials, such as backlit onyx, straw marquetry and crystal glass panels are framed within the architectural lines to emphasise the beauty of these materials.Custom design furniture elements constructed from glass, marble, metal, and various types of wood add the finishing touches to the interior décor. The shipyard’s main interior workshop is situated in Winterswijk, 120 kilometres from Oss, and provides more than 7,000 square metres of working space. Here, skilled cabinet makers work on up to five Heesen projects simultaneously, and is where all of the luxury areas are created. At the shipyard in Oss, 30 craftsmen work on the interior for all of the service areas.Project Cosmos, with exterior lines penned by Winch Design, is due for delivery in April 2022.
June 15, 2018
Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) has announced the appointment of Mr Luke McCaul to oversee customer experience and property management for the award-winning facility. Mr McCaul will bring to GCCM his extensive background in marina management and customer experience development allowing the facility to continue on its current growth trajectory with some exciting expansion plans in the pipeline.“Our aim at GCCM is to keep the facility at the top of its game by amassing the best possible team with the energy and creativity to do so. Luke adds a great deal to the team and we look forward to generating some new programmes and initiatives with him,” stated GCCM’s CEO, Mr Trenton Gay.Whilst McCaul will manage client facing activities and property management, he will work in closely with Mr Kevin Altera who is the General Manager, Business Development and Operations. Heading a team of over 30 dedicated staff, the duo will focus on promoting and driving a quality customer experience for existing and new marina and shipyard clients from around the globe.Originally from Brisbane, McCaul saw an opportunity to take his business marketing degree and professional skills to Abell Point Marina in the Whitsunday Islands when a new and progressive owner took over in 2013. “There is no reason a marina and shipyard cannot be run like a high-quality international hotel. Owners, captains and crew should expect and receive the personalised touch found in the accommodation industry – my time at Abell Point Marina proved as much. I am now looking forward to adding to GCCM’s customer focus with similar concepts for a working shipyard and marina,” explained McCaul.GCCM is the most awarded shipyard and marina in Australia encompassing 17.5 hectares of waterfront land on the Coomera River. The facility includes a 250 tonne straddlelift, 50,000sqm of hardstand, 75 metre work berths, eight refit sheds and over 80 onsite businesses employing more than 700 marine tradesmen.“It is no secret GCCM has growth plans not only for an adjacent larger facility in the near future yet also, we are actively attracting more and more superyacht refit and maintenance projects to the yard now. In doing so, it is fundamental our services and delivery are world class meeting the clients’ expectation and reflecting our standing in the global marketplace. Luke will be critical in this,” offered Kevin Altera.McCaul’s appointment is the latest in a series of announcements from GCCM including collaborations with Seal Superyachts, Benetti Yachts and IGY Marinas to support their clients in the Pacific. GCCM’s activities have not gone unnoticed as it was recently awarded the ‘Business of the Year – Superyacht Service Provider’ at the Australian Superyacht Awardsin May 2018. It is the latest award bestowed on the facility.McCaul’s appointment follows the recent resignation of Mr Steve Sammes whowas the GM Corporate Services for GCCM. Having been with the marina fornearly 12 years, Sammes is moving on to take up the role of General Managerat Sanctuary Cove Marina.About Gold Coast City Marina and ShipyardGCCM is situated on 17.5 hectares of zoned waterfront industry land whichfronts the Coomera River at Waterway Drive. The marina and shipyard form anintegral part of the 250-hectare ‘Gold Coast Marine Precinct’, the largest of itskind in the Southern Hemisphere. GCCM is located 20 kilometres from SurfersParadise and 70 Kilometres form the Brisbane CBD. All media enquiries shouldbe directed to email@example.com.Full list of GCCM’s Awards• MIA’s ‘Boatyard of the Year’ 2013/14• Superyacht Australia’s ‘Service Provider of the Year’ 2015• MIA’s ‘Boatyard of the Year’ 2015/2016• MIA’s ‘Dry Storage Facility of the Year’ 2015/16• MIA’s ‘Best Environmental Initiatives by a Marina’ 2016/2017• MIA’s ‘Employee of the Year’, Steve Sammes, 2016/2017• MIA’s ‘Marina Hall of Fame’ 2016/2017• MIA’s ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to the Industry’,Trenton Gay, 2016/2017• Australian Marine Industry Export Group’s ‘Industry Champion for theMarine Export Sector’, Trenton Gay, 2017• Superyacht Australia’s ‘Service Provider of the Year’ 2018
June 14, 2018
The Executive 1500 Mk2 is the new motoryacht of Van den Hoven Jachtbouw. The stylish design by John van Leeuwen is fully in line with the recognizable design language seen on the spacious and elegant Executive 1850.The changes in the hull design include the stepped bulwark, resulting in a lower hull and a more elegant and sporty silhouette.With a length of 14.99 m, a clearance of 3.45 m, a draught of just 1.40 m and CE A certification, the 1500 Mk2 is a versatile motoryacht for all European waters. Her fully foldable mast makes the yacht ideal for travelling the French waterways and most other European rivers with low bridges. It also allows you to sail the Rhine without requiring a Rheinpatent license. The use of a 225 hp Volvo Penta engine limits consumption to 10.7 liters an hour at a speed of 7.1 knots. The Executive 1500 Mk2 is also available with two engines. The Executive 1500 Mk2 reinforces why Van den Hoven has such an excellent reputation when it comes to on board quality and spaciousness. The clever use of the square meters creates a spacious and comfortable feel, enhanced by the large windows and 360-degree views. The roomy ambience and all- around views exceed any other yacht in the 15-metre class. The galley, wheelhouse, lounge and dining space flow naturally into each other, adding to both the cosiness and convenience. For instance, guests can enjoy a drink on the aft deck, the modern galley invites top-notch cooking, and there is plenty of space around the helm for people to gather and socialize. <iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TQAT_NeqqF4" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>The interior features four beds in two comfortable cabins, with two toilets and bathrooms. Instead of a third cabin you can choose for a spacious walk-in closet, which is accessible from the owner's cabin. The wide gangways make walking around the superstructure easy, which enhances the mooring experience. The swimming platform is easily accessible via two symmetrical stairs which also lead to the cleanly nished and well-insulated engine room. Superbly integrated in the foredeck, the large and comfortable sofa is an ideal spot to relax and watch the world go by. The aft deck features another spacious seating area with dining table and space for two or three more chairs. The aft of the superstructure above is extended to create shade and the option also exists to enclose the whole area to provide privacy and protection from the sun. As key factors in terms of sailing comfort, vibration, noise and roll were major focal points in designing the 1500 Mk2. To reduce noise, the entire engine room is insulated with high-quality materials and nished in white aluminum perforated panels. Vibration is eliminated as much as possible via the heavy hull and the transmission from the engines to the axles, which also includes a homokinetic coupling. The superior detailing on the 1500 Mk2 is visible throughout, including on the beautifully nished stainless steel rails that add an extra sense of luxury and ensure optimal safety when sailing on board this exceptional Dutch yacht. Because Van den Hoven builds steel yachts, clients can contribute a great deal of input into the way their motoryacht is realised. This exibility is essential as the yard’s clients have increasingly specific demands. In principle, anything is possible based on the existing exterior design: the number of cabins, bathrooms, general layout, furnishings, materials, colour schemes, engines, and all other options that make life on board the 1500 Mk2 extra comfortable. The Van den Hoven Executive 1500 Mk2 can be found at stand number D24 during the HISWA boatshow 2018 in the Batavia harbor at Lelystad.
June 14, 2018
New renderings of the 53-metre project Tala has been released by Turkish yacht builder Turquoise Yachts. The delivery of this yacht with an usual 720GT, with three-decks and DeBasto Designs interior and exterior design is expected in 2020. The layout includes an owner's suite and VIP forward on the main deck and four further guest suites on the lower deck. Her hull and superstructure are completed.Luiz de Basto said : “With Tala’s enormous volume, my objective was to make the exterior less bulky and give a feeling of a forward dynamic movement, rather than a static feel. I wanted the design to show movement and purpose from any angle. I achieved this with the long ascending line from the swim platform all the way up to the mast and down to the pilothouse windshield.”With everything oversized on board, it is no surprise to find a massive swim platform at the stern that simplifies and makes tender operations far safer and more convenient for guests and crew. The fun continues inside with a gym and sauna on the beach deck. Throughout the yacht, DeBasto has incorporated natural separations between crew and guests with secret alleys on both the main and lower deck to enable non-intrusive service when needed. Large windows will bring natural light into the endless precious woods and other natural materials that will characterise Tala’s living spaces. Tala is fitted with twin 1,300 HP Caterpillar engines, with an expected top speed of 15 knots.
June 14, 2018