Chinese company acquires Ferretti Group

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 10, 2012
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Yatches displayed at an exhibition in Sanya, Hainan. [CFP]

A manufacturing company from east China's Shandong Province will buy Italian luxury yachtmaker Ferretti Group, according to a deal the two firms reached on Tuesday in the provincial capital of Jinan.

The Weichai Holding Group Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Shandong Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., will pay 374 million euros (292.7 million U.S. dollars) for a 75-percent stake in the Ferretti Group, which is restructuring its assets.

Chairman of Weichai Tan Xuguang said that the company has set the yacht-making industry as one of its strategic objectives for the next five years, and the Ferretti Group makes an ideal and valuable partner because of its famous brand, advanced manufacturing technology, high quality products and impeccable sales channels.

The acquisition can also fully optimize the capital structure of Ferretti, and the company will have its capital raised by more than 100 million euros and its debt dropped to about 100 million euros, Tan added.

Ferretti is a world leader in the design, construction and sale of motor yachts with a portfolio of prestigious brands.

However, the company has been facing financial difficulties, as the company's lenders have been involved in leverage buy-outs that have left the company over-indebted, and the yacht market has been hit by the global financial crisis in recent years.

Founded in 1946, the Weichai Group is one of China's largest heavy-duty vehicle and auto equipment manufacturing companies.

"The cooperation between Weichai and Ferretti will help Ferretti products enter emerging markets, and improve the comprehensive competitiveness of Ferretti in the aspects of product costs, sales channels, follow-up services and financial strength, which will create a win-win situation," Tan said.

The Weichai Group in 2009 acquired Moteurs Bauduin SA, a French manufacturer of diesel engines and gearboxes. Weichai has since invested more than 30 million euros in expanding the manufacturing scope and improving the research ability of Moteurs Bauduin. The Bauduin engines sales volume has grown from 74 sets in 2009 to 352 in 2011.

China has been emerging as a new market for yacht consumption with the growth of social affluence and the development of marine tourism. China imported three times more yachts in 2010 than it did in 2009. Analysts say China's yacht market will witness rapid growth in the next five to ten years.

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