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.
#1. Lethantia Built in aluminum by Royal Huisman to a design by Henk Lunstroo, the 44-meter yacht was delivered in 1994 as a gaff-rigged schooner named Borkumriff III. John Munford was in charge of the yacht’s timeless interior in varnished cherry wood paneling. Refitted and upgraded many times, Lethantia now has no fewer than 41 Rondal deck winches and a full wardrobe of North sails. Under power, a single 650hp MTU diesel engine gives her a cruising speed of 11 knots. Lethantia was sold in 2017, asking €7.500.000. #2. EOS Launched from the Lürssen yard in Bremin in 2006, the 93-meter Eos is a three-masted Bermuda rigged schooner. The ship is one of the largest private sailing yachts in the world, and as of 2009 was owned by movie and media billionaire Barry Diller. Her 61 meters tall masts are said to be of the maximum height allowed to enable the craft to pass underneath bridges across the globe. EOS has passed through a lot on her life journey. In 2012 she even caught fire in Oslo, while her owners luckily were not onboard. After that she underwent a major refit at Royal Huisman facility, Huisfit, where she had extensive maintenance on mast, spars, teak deck and machinery. #3. Jeanneau 64 Born in 2014 of a close partnership between Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch, this semi-custom 20-meter sloop features elegant lines with classic proportions. Contemporary deck styling gives the yacht a timeless appeal. The boat’s modern hull incorporates a hard chine for increased speed, stability, and interior volume. The interior features dedicated spaces for relaxation, reading, cooking, dining and sunbathing. #4. Adele Built by Vitters in 2005, the 55-meter yacht was designed for blue water cruising. Her maiden voyage took in the Norwegian fjords before starting the long journey to the Pacific Ocean. She was sold two years later, and her new owners still cruise extensively to remote corners of the globe. Adele was the first yacht to enter Royal Huisman's extended refit hall in 2015 winter-season, resulting in increased capacity and mechanical upgrade, which required removing the entire engine room. #5. Silencio Spotted in Nice beside the iconic motor yachts, Grace E and Elixir, the 50-meter Perini Navi yacht was delivered in 2001. Extensively refitted in 2012 at her home yard, she boasts a sophisticated custom interior by the award-winning designer Christian Liaigre. Silencio was sold in 2017, asking €10.500.000.
December 16, 2017
Lurssen, the Germany-based superyacht builder, world famous for delivering some of the largest and most iconic yachts in recent years, has floated out a new 130-meter+ superyacht according to footage that emerged on social media.One of Lurssen's most secretive projects, out of the large number that they currently have under construction, little is known about the yacht, which some have referred to under the project name SHU, which, however can differ from the name used internally at Lurssen, as previous projects have shown.First seen in November 2016 in a less completed state, the yacht is believed to be at least 130 meters in length. Her delivery should take place in 2018. Other projects in build at the shipyard include the 130m Thunder, 139m+ Redwood, 112m Palo Alto/TIS and others.Photos by DrDuu
December 15, 2017
Alvaro Aparicio de Leon has opened up about his new mega-yacht concept, the 114-meter Ines, with surprising proportions for a sleeker silhouette and multipurpose interior spaces. “Most of the yachts of similar size that I’ve seen seemed too large, more like transatlantic cruisers. I decided to find out if I could make a sleeker one,” the Mallorca-based designer explains the idea behind the key creative solution for Ines, which is her unusual length to volume ratio achieved by reducing the beam to 15 meters. For major seaworthiness, the full-displacement yacht features a vertical bow, thus, optimizing the usage of inner space. Among the boat’s characteristic elements is her series of classic round portholes, standing for the “timelessness” of the concept.“Now that everybody’s creating yachts as if they were Lamborghinis, I want to keep making something modern, but timeless,” Alvaro points out. The interior layout provides accommodation for up to 20 guests and 42 members of crew. However, a significant part of cabins can be converted into social spaces upon customer’s request, without compromising on comfort onboard. Owner’s quarters on the upper deck comprise a master suite, office, separate bathrooms and a dressing room. This deck can be shared with two spacious VIP staterooms or, otherwise, host a lounge, cinema and library. Further VIP-class guest accommodation is split between the main and the bridge decks. Being the centerpiece of the boat’s exterior, the superyacht beach club boasts a touch-and-go helipad and an indoor-outdoor swimming pool that as well acts as part of the tender launch system. This zone is lit from above with daylight filtering through the glass bottom pool on the main deck. The garage on the lower deck has enough room for two limo tenders of 10.8 and 8 meters, four jet-skis and a submarine U-Boat Worx Super Yacht Sub 3. In addition, a full-fledged helipad is located on the upper deck of Ines.Finalist of the 2012 ShowBoats Design Awards for a 50-meter expedition vessel MaBulle turned into a private yacht, Alvaro Aparicio de Leon is especially keen on projects above 50 meters, such as his 74-meter V+A and the 85-meter concept T.
December 15, 2017
First introduced at Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the 24-meter Pearl 80 is completing her sea trials off the coast of Miami, as show the photos, released by Pearl Yachts on their Facebook page. This latest model of the UK-based shipyard stands out as a fast and agile yacht conceived with an attentive ear to customers’ feedback. Naval architect Bill Dixon and interior designer Kelly Hoppen teamed up to deliver Pearl 80, which aims to fill the breach between Pearl 65 and Pearl 95 models. The boat’s aerodynamic hull with a white gel coat finish is reminiscent of an arrow. The yacht is offered with three alternative interior themes: the bright and fresh “Studio” with stripes and rich browns, “Taupe” in calming earthy tones and “Luxury” with chick polished surfaces, nickel, and accents of black. Her optimized layout features three external dining areas: on the flybridge, at the bow and aft of the saloon on the cockpit, as the builder is aware that guests are more likely to eat on the deck than indoors. This allows for a full-beam saloon that would be entirely dedicated to a lounging area.Private areas comprise a spacious owner’s cabin flooded with natural light from panoramic portholes on each side, two twin guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms and, finally, a VIP cabin. Following requests for more discreet service, the laundry, crew accommodation and engine room have a separate access point on the starboard side. Sun worshipers have the entire flybridge at their disposal, whilst tenders and jet skis are supposed to be kept on the stern, that can be launched without effort and thus turned into a large hydraulically lowered bathing platform, getting guests close to the water. From her twin 1.800 hp MAN V12 engines, Pearl 80 is expected to reach a maximum speed of 30 knots. An estimated cruising range above 300 nautical miles will be possible at an economical speed of 25 knots.
December 15, 2017
Yachting Developments have released photos of their 39.5-meter sportfisher YD1015 performing sea trials off the coast of New Zealand. Launched on November 23, the world's largest all-carbon sportfish yacht belongs to an international sports fisherman, who opted for Yachting Developments because of their expertise in yachts with carbon hull and superstructure, which are, in fact, considered to be the lightest and fastest of their kind. Whilst Michael Peters Yacht Design was in charge of the exterior of the yacht, her “contemporary classic” interior was created by Naylor Booth Associate in collaboration with the owner himself. The layout sleeps 10 guests in four lower deck staterooms, including the owner’s master suite, and six members of the crew. The scale of the 267GT boat allowed for commercial-grade of 3.100hp MTU diesel engines, drawing on a fuel reserve of 40.000 liters, and advanced VEEM gyro stabilizers. Once completed, the sea trials will show, what speed the boat is actually capable of.
December 14, 2017