Deal with Chinese group includes new capital
Executives of the Ferretti Group, in serious talks with China-based Shandong Heavy Industry Group-Weichai Group for months, have taken a major step toward new ownership. Thanks to a 374-million-euro deal that includes taking over Ferretti’s current debt and a 100-million-euro increase in capital, the Chinese equipment manufacturer will own up to 75 percent of Ferretti.
Ferretti comprises the CRN, Custom Line, Ferretti Yachts, Itama, Mochi Craft, Pershing, Riva and Miami-based Bertram brands. One of the world’s most prolific boatbuilders, Ferretti made a strong commitment to innovation and product development through its Advanced Yacht Technology (AYT) and Centro Stile Ferretti Group divisions. The company chose to finance these investments. After a sudden drop in new-build orders worldwide, the company took measures to restructure its increasing debt.
Lamberto Tacoli, president of CRN and the Ferretti Group’s chief marketing and sales officer, answered our questions at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. While he did not discuss ongoing negotiations, he expressed confidence in the future. “We have had an escalation in interest and inquiries about the products of all of the group’s eight brands. We have an economic strategy in place that will contribute to alleviating stress and start a new positive year for Ferretti in 2012. When our revenues decreased from a billion in revenues to half that, we had to reorganize and create more efficiency in our overall company. We are doing just that,” he said.
The new owners plan to retain current management, maintain production sites in Italy and allow Ferretti to continue to operate independently. The deal appears to be a win-win situation. New capital will give Ferretti the breathing room it needs to pursue its long-term plans and allow SHIG-Weichai to explore the global world of yachting. Ferretti Yachts has already announced two new models for summer 2012, the 690 and the 780 (pictured). Pershing also announced a new 82 and Ancona-based megayacht builder CRN, which had eight yachts under construction as of the end of the year, both custom and semi-custom, is expected to launch several of them in the coming months. See our interview with Tacoli online.
For more information, visit ferrettigroup.com