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.
Dutch builder Heesen has shared news on the delivery of its YN 18556 hull previously known as Project Neptune, the 56-metre full custom steel FDHF superyaht Galvas. Basing upon Heesen’s engineering platform for the 55m FDHF Steel Class, Galvas sports an innovative design penned by British firm H2. The yacht’s subtle paint scheme boasts a silver nuance on the transom, wing station and mast.On the functional side, the exterior design includes tenders stored on the forward deck under hatch covers, while the lower beach club houses water toys. A 3.5-metre long fixed platform provides easy access to the water. In the meantime, warm teak, blue backlit panels and bamboo finishing of the outdoor lounge areas blend with the ocean beyond. With her interior volume of 770 GT, Galvas offers accommodation to up to 12 guests (with the crew of 13) across six staterooms designed by British design studio Reymond Langton, at the owner’s choice. Meanwhile, his generous 85-square-metre master suite is set forward on the main deck, comprising a private gym with steam room, office, full-beam bedroom and bathroom. The interior architecture throughout the main deck and upper deck saloons is in sycamore combined with understated geometric motifs. The delicate fabrics and soft furnishings interplay with artworks by DKT in glass, gypsum, resin and bronze.Two MTU 8V 4000 M63 diesel engines coupled with the ultra-efficient FDHF steel hull allowed Galvas to exceed her top speed of 15.5 knots during sea trials. At a cruising speed of 13 knots, she will boast a range of 3,100 nautical miles. The yard is particularly proud that YN 18556 is the second yacht in Heesen’s fleet to comply with the latest emissions regulations thanks to an SCR catalytic system reducing NOx exhaust emissions, as long as ecology awareness has been recently in the focus with the major yacht builders.Galvas has already completed rigorous tests in the North Sea, and is now heading to the Mediterranean for her maiden voyage.
July 16, 2019
Along with the recent press hype over the forthcoming episode of the James Bond film series, Italian Videoworks Group has revealed the technologies they deployed on-board a 69-metre James-Bond-inspired Benetti superyacht Spectre, delivered in 2018.Even bearing her name after a James Bond film, the yacht represents a steel-hulled vessel with aluminium superstructure, pool and "touch ang go" helipad. Spectre features exterior design by Benetti, Mulder Design and Giorgio Cassetta, able to demonstrate a maximum speed of 21.2 knots.The indoor design concept has been created by the Benetti Interior Style Department, while Videoworks has built a highly technological installation that comprises audio-video, network, telephony, home automation and CCTV systems. Below is more information on the yacht’s amazing techno features.AUDIO-VIDEOThe AV system is fully centralised, installed in a small dedicated rack room, with 7 full-height racks. Their super-customised frame has been specifically designed to fit into the available space (the cabins have only TVs, speakers and iPads). A full-height rack is in the wheelhouse, whereas a small deck rack is dedicated to networking and communications.Audio-video contents are transmitted via fibre-optics. In addition to the Kaleidescape film and music server, there is a server dedicated to the crew, who can access it via iPads. With the Kaleidescape provider, Videoworks has managed the pre-loading of approximately 1800 DVDs and Blu-ray discs (music and films), complete with covers, metadata, info on actors, trailers and special content. In this way Owners are guaranteed a customised service that is certainly convenient to use.Every room in Spectre has its own HDMI socket near the TV, to display files from local sources. The skylounge hall in the upper deck has two TVs (with 75” and 49” screens) with independent audio systems, although they share the same group of sources. Everything is managed through a matrix that allows to configure the area with multiple combinations, depending on the purpose (party, show, institutional video + satellite channel, etc.). The Sea Tel 100 TV HD satellite dishes (SAT TV) can receive European and American HD channels. This kind of satellite dish works worldwide, which means there is no need for LNB replacement when changing hemisphere.HOME AUTOMATIONInternal and external LED lights are managed via Crestron keyboards and DALI protocol, with customised silk-screen printed buttons. Videoworks’s sister company, Itworks, has created a customised software for light management, which allows to restore previously saved settings and to save the new configuration as setting, uploading it when requested. A 'secret' procedure, known only to the crew, allows to return to the original settings and to easily restore the system. Owners can use an iPad to call staff from any part of the yacht; the call is received and displayed in the crew mess and in the pantry. The super-silent Lutron blinds can be controlled via Crestron touch-screen and iPad with customised silk-screen printed keyboards. NMEA navigation information (wind speed, direction, cruising speed, sea depth, etc.) can be viewed using the specific Myinfos App developed by Itworks. NETWORK AND CYBERSECURITYOnboard network security (firewall, bandwidth manager, connection manager, etc.) is guaranteed by the Kerio NG500 system, which allows to surf securely while on board and to manage bandwidth as needed, e.g. if the Owner needs to work aboard, the system allows to limit bandwidth access and use. To guarantee the greatest security possible, the system uses Cisco products from the Catalyst and Aironet professional lines.TELEPHONYThe telephone switchboard is managed through a Cisco Router and the Cisco Unified Communication Manager software. The system includes 17 cordless telephones + 17 landlines, buzzer, fax line and light signals for calls from the Engine Room.CCTV SYSTEM The closed circuit television system manages 10 cameras, two PTZ cameras (one interior and one exterior), a number of external fixed cameras and a 360° fisheye camera, two observation and management stations (one in the wheelhouse and one in the crew mess), through a dedicated Panasonic software and PC touch panel. The Network Disk Recorder allows the captain to make recordings for security, control and surveillance purposes. The CCTV system is integrated in the entertainment section through the Itworks 'Myinfos' app.__________The yacht, which is a winner of the 2019 World Superyacht Awards category ‘Displacement yachts between 500 and 1,999 tonnes,’ was built for US entrepreneur John Staluppi (net worth $500 million, Celebrity Net Worth) with a passion for speed and technology in mind and as a part of his James-Bond inspired-fleet. Nevertheless, Staluppi sold Spectre in February 2019 asking €65,000,000.Meanwhile, the James Bond theme has been driving inspiration for numerous yacht enthusiasts through years. Some yachts have even become ultimate attributives of the story, with Spirit 54 Soufriere appearing in Casino Royale, or Sunseeker Sovereign 17 filmed in Quantum of Solace.Recommended articles : Serial yacht owners: Spectre; Inside John Staluppi's Bond themed superyacht fleet.
July 16, 2019
Past weekend, recently unveiled Fedship in-build, the 49.5-metre Project 706, took a move from the structural build facility to Feadship outfitting yard in Aalsmeer, manoeuvring her way through the Dutch canals. The details on the project are kept in strict secrecy. The key point known about Project 706 is that the all-aluminium superyacht is conceived to become one of the fastest Feadships on the water, thanks to a series of high-performance water jets she will come equipped with. It has been also said, the vessel’s completion is scheduled to 2020. Meanwhile, another brand new Feadship, 77-metre Syzygy 818 is now undergoing sea trials at the North Sea. Still, the 77-metre is not the one to make it to the list of the Dutch yard's largest vessels of over 90 metres.
July 16, 2019
In order to join the mission of ‘driving sustainability in superyachting’, some of the biggest players of the industry have come together supporting a non-profit organization, Water Revolution Foundation. So far, the brands signed behind the idea are Abeking&Rasmussen, Alexseal, Amels | Damen, Benetti, Feadship, Heesen, Lürssen, MB92 and Rybovich.Pledging substantial multi-year commitment and financial contributions in the organisation, the brands have contributed to recognition of the urgency to reduce the industry’s ecological footprint.The International Maritime Organization has set goal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 from 2008’s levels in the industry, along with keeping on increasing marine protected areas.Robert van Tol, executive director of Water Revolution Foundation, commented:Sustainability is something we can no longer view as optional. But, more importantly, our industry is well positioned to take the lead with a smart and affluent clientele and our unique connection with the ocean.Van Tol highlighted that the foundation is open to all industry companies. Moreover, they consider sustainability not a competitive advantage but a responsibility and a minimum standard that needs to be improved continuously and collectively.I’d like to thank our first anchor partners for sharing this vision, making it possible to start this ambitious programme and call on other companies to join this revolution too.Water Revolution Foundation’s activities will revolve around three areas of focus: promoting new technology and empowering innovation; pro-actively creating the industry’s own sustainability agenda, going beyond legislative requirements; and reinvesting in ocean conservation.Water Revolution’s first joint industry project will be to determine a yacht’s operational profile and how to compare yachts with one another. A database for verified sustainable solutions will also be developed, facilitating designers, builders and refitters with the knowledge needed to accelerate the shift towards sustainability.This initiative is not the first one demonstrating awareness and concern with eco future of yachting among the industry players. For instance, the sixth edition of the Solar & Energy Boat Challenge has been recently held in Monaco, premiering the first zero emission committee boat. Meanwhile, one of the most environmentally-oriented vessels ever built, the 43-metre power trimaran Adastra has lately entered the market.
July 15, 2019
The 43-metre yacht Adastra, one of the world's most amazing superyachts thanks to her futuristic design, has been listed for sale. According to media sources, such as CNN Travel, the world’s first luxury power trimaran of its size is owned by Hong-Kong-based billionaire and shipping tycoon Anto Marden.This futuristic projectile was built by Australian McConaghyyard in Hong-Kong in 2012—at a reported cost exceeding $20 million, to cruise Indonesia and Southeast Asia. In the seven years since the launch, she has crossed the Atlantic several times, taking Marden and his wife around the globe. Her reported estimated price now might amount to $ 12,000,000, states Robb Report.Designed by British studio Shuttleworth Design, Adastra was created with environmental impact in mind. Her aerodynamic wings help her float on the water, thus her drag is significantly reduced through only 20% of the vessel submerged in water. In light of this, the lightweight glass and carbon boat consumes only about 14% of the fuel used by more traditional yachts with the same specs. Before fuel and water, Adastra tips the scales at just 52 tonnes.According to comments shared by Marden with Robb Report, the yacht has a range of 10,000 nautical miles, as cruising at 10 knots, she burns only 4.5 gallons per hour. Meanwhile, Adastra has a top speed of 23 knots. The owner reported to recently sail from St. Maarten to Vigo in Spain, having enough fuel left to head back to the Caribbean.Hong Kong–based interior designers Jepsen Design developed the interiors for nine guests and six crew, offering five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and an open-air bar. One of her most innovative features is an option for remote control by an iPad from up to 164 feet away. Collecting several design awards, the yacht as also awarded Most Innovative Design at the World Superyacht Awards in 2013.According to Robb Report, the reason the owners have put the vessel on sale is that she is not getting enough use, as they cruised to all the places they wanted to cruise.Generally, the innovative vessel has been attracting the attention of press and yachting enthusiasts ever since her launch, spotted here and there, for instance in Gibraltar or in Fijian waters.
July 15, 2019