China’s Shangong Heavy Industries has bought the Ferretti Group, taking over 75% of the Italian shipmaker’s capital.
Sleekly tailored with gleaming chrome accessories and luxurious saloons, the Ferretti Group designs some of the most exclusive yachts in the nautical world.
Ferretti has 8 yacht brands (Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Mochi Craft, CRN and Ferretti Custom Line) and owns a total of 8 shipyards.
As part of the deal, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Strategic Value Partners will each become owners of a 12.5 percent stake in the yachtmaker.
Ferretti was forced to cede control to lenders in 2009 when it missed a loan payment on a debt and the crisis shrank its customer base.
In the 2009 debt-restructuring, a group of creditors led by RBS agreed to convert some of their debt to equity to avert a Ferretti bankruptcy.
Ferretti, which employs 2,000 people, will keep its management, headquarters and production bases in Italy.
Demand for luxury yachts in China is growing, and with a million millionaires in the country, the nation’s new rich are looking for new ways to flaunt their assets.
The number of luxury powerboats and yachts in China is expected to increase by more than 10-fold to over 10,000 by 2015.
Shandong Heavy, which makes heavy-duty industrial products, will seek a separate listing for Ferretti in Hong Kong in three to five years, Chairman Tan Xuguang said.