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.
Polish yacht builder Sunreef Yachts exhibited their catamaran 70 Sunreef Power at the recent Miami edition of Art Basel in an untraditional way. In collaboration with artist Alexander Mijares, the yard presented an art work at the Fontainebleau Marina in Miami Beach from December 4 to December 8.Sunreef Yachts founder and president Francis Lapp commented:Originality is definitely part of the Sunreef DNA. Our crafts and all our endeavors are meant to leave a long-lasting impression. When I heard Alexander Mijares wanted to collaborate with our brand, I immediately agreed, knowing he would come up with a compelling and memorable project. I am happy to have him on board with us for Art Basel.Alexander Mijares designed an original hull wrap reflecting the vibrant energy of Miami. The artist named his work Pieces of Me, using the yacht as a sort of canvas to explore his own Miami roots. With dark and warm hues playing against the blue ocean back front, this vessel stands out much from typical white hulls.The 70 Sunreef Power model belongs to the shipyard’s previous power catamaran range. Meanwhile, recently tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has recently ordered Sunreef 80 Power yacht from the builder.Photo via Sunreef Yachts
December 10, 2019
As the middle-size market continues to struggle, megayachts have had yet another explosive year, pushing new limits for the industry and leading some yards to thrive. The world now has 53 yachts over 100 meters, more than double the amount in the fleet 10 years ago. Whilst the Middle East and Russia have remained active in the range, the addition of buyers from the US to the megayacht range has led the space to new heights.Yacht Harbour looks at the largest yachts delivered in 2019 and what you need to know about them.#1 Flying FoxLength: 136m Yard: Lurssen The largest yacht delivered by Lurssen this year, Flying Fox also became the most massive yacht to enter the charter market. Stretching across 136 meters, the yacht’s exterior was designed by Espen Oeino, often involved with large Lurssen builds. Onboard, Flying Fox features 11 cabins with sea view terraces, a 400 square meter spa spread over 2 floors, a 12-meter long swimming pool, a dive center and 2 helipads, all serviced by a crew of 24.#2 TISLength: 109m Yard: Lurssen The largest yacht ever displayed at the Monaco Yacht Show, Tis wowed prospective buyers with her one of a kind interior inspired by Parisian palaces and designed by Andrew Winch. The 109-meter long Lurssen was put on the market shortly prior to her delivery and is currently looking for a new owner at a $250 million price tag. Meanwhile Tis is available for charter at $2.2 million per week. On top of the helipads, swimming pool, spa, gym and luxurious staterooms, arguably one of the most unique amenities onboard is a main salon spread across 2 levels with a grand staircase.#3 IJE Length: 108m Yard: BenettiA transformational build for Benetti, the Italian yacht manufacturing behemoth, IJE became 1 of 3 yachts over 100 meters built by the yard in 2019. Delivered to Australian billionaire James Packer, the yacht became his latest flagship following Arctic P. Crafted in traditional Benetti style on the exterior, not much is known about the yacht’s interior. IJE and its new generation of Benettis did however put the yard into the competition for more 100-meter plus new builds as an increasing number of yards begins to compete for the segment.#4 Lana Length: 107m Yard: Benetti The first mega Benetti to be delivered, the 107-meter was built as hull FB 277 and was since named Lana. With its construction overseen by Imperial Yachts, online commentary has been speculating its owner to be from Russia. Little is known about the ship, other than its distinctive exterior look. At the time of her launch, it was teased the yacht would later be made available for charter, in what is a growing trend among megayachts.#5 Zoza Length: 105m Yard: Benetti Rounding up the ranks of the 50 largest yachts in the world, Zoza was launched in 2019 for a Middle Eastern owner according to social media. Primarily differentiating itself from other megayachts with tall panoramic windows, the yacht is likely to remain private and off the charter market.#6 MadsummerLength: 95 meters Yard: Lurssen Built by the German shipyard Lurssen, in what has proven to be their size range with the highest resale value thanks to strong demand on the buy size, Madsummer was delivered earlier this year. Indicative of the growing influence of American influence in the size range, Madsummer was built for experienced yacht owner Jeffrey Soffer active in Florida real estate.#7 Lady S Length: 93mYard: Feadship A surprising player in the megayacht sector is LVMH. Following their purchase of the Feadship Royal Van Lent yard nearly a decade ago have grown their influence over the space and maintained Feadship’s reputation in the megayacht sector. Built for Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, Lady S was designed by Michael Leach. Perhaps the most innovative feature onboard the American billionaire’s yacht is an IMAX cinema.#8 DreAMBoat Length: 90m Yard: Oceanco In the fight for supremacy over the megayacht market a rapidly gaining player has become the Dutch-based Oceanco, whose most recent megayacht became DreAMBoat following hallmark projects like Jubilee and Black Pearl. Another example of Americans’ increasing presence, the 90-meter was built for Home Depot co-founder Arthur M. Blank. The capitalization in the yacht’s name being a clever play on the billionaire’s initials AMB.#9 Bold Length: 85m Yard: Silver Yachts One of the most unusual yachts on the water, its story begins with a bet to build fast, long yachts in Australia, which Guido Krass made when setting up Hanseatic Marine. Since renamed to Silver Yachts and now owned by a Chinese aluminium producer, the yard has built 5 yachts, the latest of which is Bold. It’s most unusual feature is the vast lounge deck with full panoramic windows overlooking a large helipad aft of the main deck. Stretching over 85-meters the yacht is the reflection of a growing desire to explore from a new generation of owners.#10 Excellence Length: 80m Yard: Abeking & RasmussenBuilt for serial yacht owner Herb Chambers, the 80-meter yacht becomes his latest flagship built by German yard Abeking & Rasmussen and 3rd new build with that particular yard. Created with an instantly recognisable look, the yacht is now available for charter. Amongst her key features is a 3-storey tall atrium with panoramic windows. Chambers’ previous yachts were also named Excellence and proved to be successful charter vessels. His former flagship, Excellence V was sold in May asking €69.5 million. His prior 78-meter Abeking&Rasmussen was however sold to a Russian billionaire even prior to her delivery, now known as Eminence.#11 Dragon Length: 80m Yard: Columbus Whilst Dutch, German and Italian yards have been competing for the megayacht market, Palumbo Group, a Malta-based company has been quietly amassing a leadership position in refits and expanding into new builds acquiring ISA Yachts and now managing to deliver an 80-meter yacht through their Columbus brand. Dragon becomes the largest yacht built by the Maltese group. With all of the amenities one would expect of a yacht this size like a 7-meter swimming pool, beach club and vast staterooms, the yacht is a clear statement to the Maltese group’s expansion on the scene.
December 10, 2019
Italian designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini makes his specialty not only in futuristic boats design but also cars, product design and architecture. He has shared images of a new bold F33 Spaziale yacht concept, capable of literally flying over water, thanks to foils installation. F33 model will come available in two versions. The first version of "teardrop" shape would be ideal for relaxing cruising with comfortable areas for sunbathing on the sofas at the stern or on the sundeck. Layout would also comprise a guest cabin to sleep a night.The second version might feature less posh appearance, since primarily intended for outdoor activities. For example, she even allows transportation of an inflatable boat on the cabin roof.F33 Spaziale would come fitted with either a pair of Yanmar diesel engines with a 440-litre capacity for each, or similar 387 CV Tesla electric motors. In addition, there is a possibility to install jet-propelled Hamilton Jets. Thus, the model’s maximum speeds vary from 35 to 55 knots, depending on the engine choice.Though still a concept for the moment, the model might go serial in the future. For instance, the previous boat project by Lazzarini, 3.4-metre Jet Capsule has successfully entered the market.Regarding the vessel’s price, the basic model is currently estimated at about about $610,000, while more ‘complex’ version may cost up to $1.6 million. Meanwhile, the average construction process for all types of the model is expected to take nine months.
December 9, 2019
Russian designer Max Zhivov in partnership with Tutkish engineering company Otobot and Turkish builder U4 have presented 165 Explorer is flagship of Viatorem series. Built in steel and aluminium, the model will offer large interior areas.One of specific design solutions on 165 Explorer is the superstructure pushed forward to provide generous aft space with multifunctional area, also deployed to house multiple toys. Aft upper deck drone offers flexibility to explore seas and lands.The vessel will feature a wide beam, full glass interior area concept, a spacious owner’s cabin with a private portable balcony, four guest rooms, generous aft party area with a pool and swim platform and entertainment venue with a bar and sunbeds on the sundeck.According to the creators, safe and durable sea trial is supplied with hybrid propulsion system and stabiliser fins. Efficient hull decreases fuel consumption and increases 165 Viatorem’s range.Upon request, 165 Explorer can also be built on fully sandwich composite structure. The designers claim, the vessel would boast a long range with its efficient hull and would have good seakeeping on rough sea conditions.Another recent concept by the designers team is 130 Viatorem.
December 9, 2019
The second hull of the 42-metre E-Volution hybrid sloop has been launched in the water at Perini Navi Istanbul facility. It is the second launch of that particular model within a year, with construction still in progress on both hulls.With ‘E’ standing for electric the 42-metre E-volution was first presented at the Monaco Yacht Show 2017. The vessel features a hybrid propulsion engine system, combining diesel engine with eco-friendly electric motor and contributing to the yard's course on environmental sustainability. While the yacht’s naval architecture was designed by US-based Reichel-Pugh studio, the head of Perini Navi in-house design department developed the yacht’s exterior styling. The 42-metre comes with aluminium hull and carbon fibre superstructure.Within 275GT interior, the design concept trademarks a foldable transom door, giving staircase access to both sides of a sea-level alcove. A sail drum storage is situated below deck, whilst carbon fibre helm pods lay at the aft.Accommodation on-board will be provided to a total of eight guests across four cabins, while the crew quarters will accommodate seven people.The diesel-electric system will allow silent cruising with a range of 3,200 nautical miles at the speed of 10 knots, given that the yacht's total fuel capacity will make 20,000 litres.The vessel will now be moved to Viareggio for completion. She remains on track for a 2021 delivery. Meanwhile, the builder has recently sold the first unit of the 47-metre sailing yacht of the E-volution range.
December 6, 2019