Chinese Firm to Buy Sunseeker Boats
Chinese company on brink of secure majority stake in Sunseeker
Rumours are rife that Chinese company Dalian Wanda are set to plunder Poole for the Sunseeker boatbuilding firm.
Negotiations are believed to be ongoing, with both sides reportedly having settled on a figure somewhere in the region of £300m for a majority stake in Sunseeker.
Dalian Wanda is a Chinese property business and is hoping to have the deal pushed through by the end of the month.
Although Sunseeker is remaining tight-lipped on the identity of any potential buyer, Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin has been quoted as boasting that “We bought the best yacht company in the UK.”
Sunseeker have confirmed that a sale is imminent, although that it still had to get the go ahead from the regulators. There were also adamant that the Dorset-based firm will: “remain a British company, headquartered in Poole.”
To that end, Sunseeker have said that they will keep their production operation, workforce and infrastructure based in the UK.
Even after the Dalian Wanda deal is complete, company founder Robert Braithwaite will still be the group president.
UK Boatbuilding to Remain
A statement from Sunseeker stressed that any potential deal would be a shot in the arm for the boatbuilding industry:
“The potential new majority shareholder, who has no current interest in the luxury motor yacht sector, supports Sunseeker’s commitment to superior products and its premium brand, both of which would be further enhanced by its investment.”
“If a deal is concluded, it will be fantastic news for the business, the wider Sunseeker ‘family’ and the motor yacht industry and will allow Sunseeker to expand its global base still further while retaining its current operational and manufacturing infrastructure at our headquarters in Poole.”
According to reports in the Financial Times, Sunseeker’s owner – Irish investment company FL partners – who purchased the company in 2010, open up negotiations with Dalian Wanda last year about the possible sale.
If the deal is completed, Wanda would be following fellow Chinese firm into the luxury yacht industry after the Weichai Group’s purchase of Ferretti Group last year for about £150m.
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