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.
At her launch in 1990, Lady Moura was the most expensive and innovative yacht in the world. As a private yacht built by Blohm & Voss, with a length 105m, she was extremely outstanding.In an era when only clients of Royal status were able to possess such luxury, Lady Moura was registered as the ninth largest yacht ever built. She definitely set a new standard in yachting 30 years ago.Built to be a private residence, the yacht has been cloaked in mystery to the outside world for three decades. But now the yacht is for sale for the first time by her original owner, and we finally have a chance to have a look inside.Most of the interior is still original.An army of the crew who knows every corner of the boat helps to keep the youth and beauty of the boat.“The average time crew have been on board is 18 years: the chief housekeeper has been here for 25 years; the bosun 28 years; the chief engineer came on board the first time in 1993; the captain has been here for 17 years. A lot of people have spent more time on this boat than at home over the last 20 years,” says relief captain Sebastian Rauber.Lady Moura has never been chartered, she hasn’t even moved much. “Cruising – we didn’t do too much,” says Captain Matthias Bosse.26 guests can be accommodated across seven decks of which one is a dedicated owner's deck which includes six staterooms. The interior covers Lady Moura's lounges and reval dining rooms with luxury, yet functional furnishings.Up to 72 crew members are available for any requests, furthermore, guests can make use of the amenities, such as the helipad, a gym, movie theatre and a disco with DJ room. Top top it off the recreational deck feature a spa with sauna and an indoor pool.The beach club is easily accessible from the ocean via six gangways and two entrances for use by one of the superyacht's tenders.There are 5 spacious cabins for children held in lighter colors. During recent updates, the generator and engines have been rebuild, as well as new team decks, refurbished crew, and technical spaces. Due to an advanced remote monitoring system that allows for condition-based maintenance and real-time troubleshooting, she is in excellent condition.
June 3, 2020
Fraser introduced the buyer of the 74m CRN motor yacht Odyssey II, which was jointly listed by Burgess and Fraser. After getting a new owner, the yacht has been renamed to Lady Jorgia.The Yacht is built from a steel hull and has an aluminum superstructure to Lloyd's Registry standards and is MCA compliant. It got delivered to her owner in 2017.Offering guests every luxury imaginable, including a spa with hair salon, indoor and outdoor cinemas, and a gym, Lady Jorgia represents onboard all dreams coming true.Lady Jorgia offers accommodation for 12 guests in 8 rooms, consisting of one master suite, 1 VIP stateroom, 4 double cabins and 2 double/twin cabins. Additionally, 22 crew members fit on it, making sure no request will be unfulfilled. Elegant and stylish interior and furnishings create a timeless and elegant atmosphere.Odyssey II was priced at €84,000,000 at the time of sale.
June 2, 2020
The X95 represents the third project of the partnership between Princess, Olesinski, and Pininfarina. Challenged with setting a new standard of layout excellence, which is defined by large, adaptable spaces that can be used differently, it offers a new level of the boating lifestyle.The British shipyard has revealed the 29.11m superyacht in 2018. A luxurious modern interior accommodates up to 8 guests and a crew of 4 people is also housed on board.Princess X95 is built for a life at sea, and focused on the comfort, so life on it is unlike that on any other boat its size. The layout of the yacht provides 10% more outdoor space and 40% more indoor space than a traditional motor yacht.Characterized by beautifully sculpted surfaces and long flowing lines, the X95 defines a striking design language for her class.Additional port and starboard guest cabins can each be configured with two single beds or one double bed, whilst generous crew quarters complete her extensive accommodation.The first Princess X95 has taken to the water in Plymouth and started sea trials.
June 2, 2020
Lürssen, one of the of the world's leading shipyards, has delivered a 140m yacht, named Project Lightning, yesterday morning.The project was known as one of the most secretive yachts in recent years and therefore, even the length was unknown until its delivery. The best guesstimate from yacht spotters is that the megayacht measures at least 130 m.With a code name like this and such length, this megayacht had plenty of people in anxious anticipation. So what do we know about Project Lightning so far?The first time Project Lightning hit the waters was in July 2019. The yacht was spotted for the first time in December 2017, when it moved into the build Hall, to replace the then in-build Flying Fox.While there are not a lot of details known, Project Lightning's two helipads were displayed as well as her layout look to host a large superyacht beach club. However, no designers, architects, or timeline has been disclosed.With its completion Project Lightning will be among the top 20 largest superyachts worldwide.
June 2, 2020
Lucky Lady (ex. Lady Lola) is a large motor yacht built by Oceanco in 2002. The 62.60-m motor yacht offers accommodation for up to 10 guests and 14 crew members on board. Instantly recognizable, the superyacht represents innovative technology capabilities of Oceanco. Lucky Lady features a richly elegant interior courtesy of Francois Zuretti and a striking exterior profile styled by The A Group.Her feathers include a huge pool, a retractable golf tee that appears at the touch of a button, a large swimming platform, and a helicopter deck. The main achievement of the exterior, however, is the luxurious beach club at the stern.Lucky Lady cruises the Mediterranean, and she is seen in the waters of Sardinia on the picture.
June 2, 2020