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Chinese Weichai Group takes controlling interest in Ferretti

by MarineBusiness-World.com on 11 Jan 2012
Weichai Group now takes a 75% interest in the world’s largest luxury yacht builder, Ferretti. Ferretti S.p.A http://www.ferrettigroup.com
China's Shandong Heavy Industry, which makes commercial vehicles, construction machinery and other heavy-duty industrial products and its subsidiary Weichai Group (SHIGWeichai Group) has announced that it has reached agreements with the major creditors of the world’s largest luxury yacht maker, the Italian company Ferretti Group ('Ferretti'), to acquire a controlling interest (75%) in Ferretti by participating in Ferretti's debt restructuring.

Through a total investment of 374 million Euros, including equity investment of 178 million Euros and provision of debt financing of 196 million Euros, SHIG-Weichai Group will acquire a 75% interest in the yacht maker after the completion of the debt restructuring procedures. Existing creditors will acquire the remaining 25% interest in Ferretti through a 25 million Euros equity injection and debt to equity swap.

Through the acquisition, Ferretti's capital structure will be fully restructured with equity capital increase by 100 million euros and total debts reduce to a reasonable level at around 120 million euros. The business will enjoy a strong capital base which will help drive its long-term development plans.

Ferretti, the world’s largest luxury yacht manufacturer, boasts one of the worlds most advanced naval research and development centres (AYT the Ferretti Groups Advanced Yacht Technology) and a team of architects and designers (Centro Stile Ferrettigroup). It also has a comprehensive global supply chain, which includes more than 800 suppliers, as well as some of the world's most advanced yacht manufacturing systems.

Ferretti has eight highly regarded and recognized yacht brands and owns a total of eight shipyards in Italy as well as in Miami, USA, and employs nearly 2,000 employees.

Leveraging its ample resources, SHIG-Weichai aims to facilitate Ferretti's expansion in emerging markets such as Asia, with a particular focus on Greater China, which will be an important growth engine for Ferretti's future development. In addition, the Group will provide a range of other resources including capital support to Ferretti to stimulate its rapid business development in both the traditional European and American markets as well as other emerging markets.

After the acquisition, the Group will continue to uphold its operational principle of unifying strategies and resources while operating independently and will retain Ferretti’s key management team, headquarters and production bases in Italy.

Mr Tan Xuguang, Chairman of SHIGWeichai Group, said: 'Developing the yacht business is one of the Groups strategic goals for the next five years. Ferretti, which possesses iconic international brands, state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, products of the highest quality and an extensive sales network, is an ideal partner.

'Through the acquisition, the Group will cooperate closely with this world-renowned yacht maker, providing Ferretti with new channels to market and capital support as well as other resources with which it can expand more effectively into emerging markets, a key area of potential growth for Ferretti. Synergies between the Group and Ferretti can be unleashed through the sharing of resources and industrial integration.

'Ferretti’s overall competitive advantages in production cost, sales channels, after-sales service and financial strength will be improved, creating a win-win situation that will allow Ferretti to consolidate its leading position in the luxury yacht market.'

Mr Norberto Ferretti, Chairman and Founder of Ferretti Group declared 'We are very proud of this agreement with a prestigious partner such as SHIGWeichai Group. We are strongly convinced that this partnership will lead to very satisfactory results and will provide Ferretti Group with a strong capital base which will allow the development of long-term growth plans.

'Moreover China is one of the most rapidly developing countries for the yachting sector and has great potential for the coming 5 to 10 years.'

SHIGWeichai Group is one of the most competitive equipment manufacturing groups in China offering a broad range of high quality commercial vehicles, construction machinery and other heavy-duty industrial products.

The Group operates four main divisions, namely commercial vehicles, construction machinery, power generation systems and auto parts. In addition to its solid market foundation in China, the Group has also been active in the overseas markets. In 2009, the Group acquired Moteurs Baudouin SA (Baudouin) in France through its subsidiary Weichai Power Co., Ltd. (Weichai Power), which has helped the Group expand into the international high-end yacht business.

After the acquisition, Weichai Power invested an accumulated 30 million euros and implemented multiple measures to improve Baudouins businesses and operations. Several objectives were achieved including the expansion of production scale, the enhancement of its R&D capabilities, as well as the recruitment of local employees. The sales volume of Baudouins engines increased from 74 units in 2009 to 352 units in 2011. The staff numbers rose from 120 in 2009 to 202 in 2011, playing a vital part in establishing Baudouins leading position in the marine power market.

More at www.ferretti-yachts.com
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