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

Australian millionaire’s 73m superyacht Hasna has been sold
Hasna is a 73-metre luxury motor yacht, built by Feadship in 2017. She has been the first yacht in Dutch shipbuilding history ordered by an Australian customer. According to Forbes, the superyacht has been owned by Australian loan magnate John Symond and believed to cost him $75million. She has been listed for sale asking € 97,500,000 two years after delivery. Later the price was reduced down to € 92,500,000 and she was sold and renamed Lunasea, thanks to Y.CO and Burgess.Gary Wright, Co-Founder and Chairman of Y.CO commented:Hasna marks the third Feadship Y.CO has sold in recent weeks and demand among our clients for well-built, quality yachts remains strong. Completing a sale of this magnitude in the current climate has taken an extraordinary amount of commitment from everyone involved and we would especially like to thank the Captain and crew for their support throughout this sale.We are pleased to be taking over the operational and charter management of the yacht - under her new name of Lunasea - and our team is already working closely with the new owner’s team and crew to transform the onboard experience and strengthen her charter reputation.With a beam of 11.9 m and a draft of 3.45 m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure.The highlights of the superyacht include an 8m infinity pool on the main deck aft, a 10-seat cinema on the main deck, a wellness centre with a massage room, a hairdressing salon, an elevator, a sun deck lounge with inside-outside bar and a jacuzzi.Ben Ritchie of the Y.CO sales team said: We are thrilled to have secured this very recent and exceptionally well-maintained Feadship on behalf of our client. Not only does Hasna exude quality, but she has every amenity you could possibly want on board, which we anticipate will make her extremely popular on the charter market. With stunning interior and exterior design by RWD, we believe Hasna to be one of the finest Feadships ever built and we are pleased to add her to our Y.CO Management fleet and to be able to offer her for charter.Hasna was designed by Redman Whiteley Dixon and can accommodate 12 guests in six staterooms, including a full-beam owner’s suite is located on the main deck, two VIP staterooms, two double cabins, and a further double cabin on the bridge deck. Also, the superyacht offers accommodation for a crew of up to 21. Twin MTU diesel engines provide her a top speed of 16.6 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots, with a transatlantic range of 5,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. She is powered by MTU engines of 1850 hp each.
New design concept: high-speed 40m yacht Xenos with Bugatti supercar
Italian designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini unveils his latest yacht concept 39.9-metre Xenos. This bullet-shaped hyper yacht concept was inspired by Bugatti and aims to be the fastest superyacht in the world in its size. The design combines futuristic performance with luxury spaces. The energy company Architaly has integrated a solar system into the roof, which will let Xenos to be capable of up to eight hours of autonomy in electric sail mode.There are two available versions for this custom yacht: the Hyperyacht and the Seajet Piercer. The Seajet Piercer will be for a passenger transport version since it can carry up to 180 passengers. The Hyperyacht is designed to be a private recreational vehicle.The Hyperyacht version features a deck lounge, living room, threespacious suites and a large lounge at the top. To the aft, guests can store water toys and use the adjustable bridge to allow the fabulous Bugatti to come in and out.The $39,000,000 Xenos comes with a $3,000,000 luxury supercar Bugatti Chiron. Made from aluminium and carbon, modern shape of the Xenos is designed for comfortable high speed rides and equipped with twin, triple or quadruple engine set ups with horsepower range from 7,300 hp to 15,000 hp. Xenos will reach a top speed of 90 knots, setting the record of the fastest yacht in her size.
Spotted: 1927 classic sailing yacht Trinakria in St. Tropez
The legendary yacht Trinakria, which has been launched in 1927 in Austria at the Wienerwerft in Vienna, was seen in St. Tropez. Trinakria is a 49.06-metre luxury sailing yacht.The gaff-rigged schooner a steel hull and wooden superstructure. Trinakria was entirely refitted over a 10 year period, from 2004 to 2014. The refit started in Agadir in Morocco at the luxury yacht builder Chantier Naval HESARO. Unfortunately, technical difficulties and the failure of the local shipyard lead to a long and ambitious eight years refit. However, in 2012, she was sailing to La Rochelle. It took two more years more to complete all the works.Her interiors have been returned to their former glory, featuring warm polished woods, classic white planked ceilings and crafted leather furnishings.The sailing yacht can accommodate 10 guests in five traditional, yet luxurious staterooms, each with private ensuite facilities. Her decks are laid to teak and offer a vast amount of area to relax, socialize and sun. The main deck has 2 alfresco dining options, one just forward of the helm, seating guests comfortably under a Bimini cover if requested. This deck is raised providing uninterrupted views. An additional alfresco dining table is forward, in a more intimate setting, perfect for casual dining.With a beam of 7 m and a draft of 3.3 m, Trinakria is powered by CAT engines and has a cruising speed of 10 knots. This magnificent yacht can often be found cruising the Mediterranean, where she is available for charter with the price about €70,000 - €80,000 per week.
New interior details of the first high-tech Azimut superyacht Magellano 25 Metri
Italian builder Azimut Yachts has completed the Azimut Magellano 25 Metri and revealed first look images of the boat. She is their first 25.2-metre pocket superyacht, which was created in collaboration with interior designer and architect Vincenzo De Cotiis. Exterior designer Ken Freivokh was responcible for “chic and sophisticated” exterior lines.Built in GRP and carbon fibre, the pocket superyacht was created to "convey the feeling of a penthouse overlooking the sea" because of her fully glazed superstructure, the yard said.The vessel can accommodate up to 10 guests across five cabins including an owner’s suite, which features a walk-in wardrobe and polished brass details, two VIPs located on the lower deck, one double and one convertible twin cabin.There are other stylish highlight of the boat design such as “retro-style” windows in the hull and slatted teak panels either side of the aft deckhouse. There is a large lounge area and an ‘infinity terrace’ at the bow area, which is perfect for warm weather cruising with sofas, converting into sunbeds and a bar aft and an outside dining under a retractable sunroof. The boat features twin MAN engines with 1,400 hp each, a Humpree electric fin stabilisation system, and a V-Drive in-line transmission. She can reach a top speed 25 knots or cruise at 21 knots.
New delivery: CPN’s  37m explorer yacht K-584
Italian shipyard CPN is happy to announce the on-schedule delivery of the 36.6-metre explorer yacht K-584, which happened on 31st July.Cristiana Belardinelli, owner of CPN, commented:It has been an amazing and very challenging experience to go through the full design, development and building process, lived very directly also by the clients. Looking at this brilliant jewel like K-584 leaving our dock and taking the sea on August 1st made myself and our family so proud, a truly priceless moment.The project was overseen by Yachting Expertise who was involved since the project development stages K-584 features naval architecture by Yachting Expertise engineer Antonio Longobardi. Andrea Vallicelli and Alessandro Nazareth are responcible for her exterior design.Gianluca Fenucci from Yachting Expertise said:K-584 is a great and unique story of human relationship, ambition, professionalism, respect, intense teamwork and the love for the work we do since three decades, always with the same professionalism, passion and dedicationition, professionalism, respect, intense teamwork and the love for the work we do since three decades, always with the same professionalism, passion and dedication.Yachting Expertise had the responsibility to keep all these values well balanced and timely deliver a very innovative project that we trust will raise the bar to another level with her personality, elegance and amazing performance. She is a beauty, strong, very efficient and very easy to be operated. What else do you need to be happy and enjoy yachting? Today we are very satisfied to have been able to reach once again the difficult task to make “everybody happy”, including ourselves at YE, and to be back to the yachting arena with a project that is different from everything else and that will set a new standard.K-584 is powered with twin MAN D2868 LE 425 715hp engines which helps her to reach a top speed of 14.4 knots and an autonomous range of 6,000 nautical range at 10 knots.The motor boat features a 6-metre Tideman tender on her aft deck where a two-tonne HS-Marine crane takes care of launching and retrieving operations. There is a large swim platform with an adjacent fully-equipped diving area lower aft deck. The motor yacht can accommodate up to 10 peoplewith 5 crew members. The owner's stateroom with a private outdoor terrace is located on the upper deck. Guest can stay in two VIP and two additional guest staterooms. Pierluigi Floris, supported by Yachting Expertise partner Lorenzo Barbini and collaborating with the owners, created the design of all guest areas on board.The owner commented: For an owner’s perspective, the realisation of a project like K-584 starts with a dream that you try to transform into reality. You start by listening to your heart and after using your brain.Three intense years with all the parties involved are totally focused to reach the best results with regard to style, technical performance and seaworthiness. Almost three years that make the shipyard your second home, this is the feeling my wife and I had. Now that all personal, technical and comfort expectations have been exceeded, we have the privilege and great pleasure to enjoy this superb jewel. Viva CPN, viva K-584, we look forward to the next challenge.