Hanse Yachts buys Sealine brand

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Sailboat builder Hanse Yachts acquired Sealine GmbH and will move production of the yachts from England to Germany.

The Griefswald, Germany-based company said the purchase of the U.K. builder will rank the group No. 12 in the motorboat market, playing into its overall strategy to gain market share quickly.

The motorboat market was previously covered by Fjord boats within the Hanse Group, but the company says Sealine marks “a step into the mass market.”

"The motorboat market is not only larger than the sailing boat market, but has also been experiencing growth for some years now, contrary to the trend in the sailing sector. Motorboats are also a good way of opening doors to the newer nautical markets, such as China and Brazil. I am sure that the sales of both our Fjord motorboats and our sailing boats will benefit from adding the Sealines to our range,” Hanse Yachts CEO Jens Gerhardt said in a statement.

The production of Sealine at Hanse Group’s Griefswald plant will improve the workload of the company, and the resulting fixed costs can be spread over even more products, the company says. A deferred order cycle between sailing and motor yachts also will mean that over-capacities in the summer can be used for motorboat production.

Following the company’s entry into “administration” in May, which is akin to receivership in the United States, Sealine’s administrator, Baker Tilly, said in June that the group was buying Sealine.

In early June, Sealine Yachts America was summoned by a bankruptcy court in Florida as a debtor in an involuntary Chapter 7 liquidation case, Trade Only reported. Six yachts were liquidated in July.

In September 2011, the California-based Oxford Investment Group bought Sealine International from Brunswick Corp. after the company had stopped marketing Sealine Yachts in the United States. After the purchase, the company made a push in the U.S. market after a 10-year hiatus.

Sealine has been manufacturing luxury motoryachts for more than 40 years.

Hanse Group said the company “recently achieved a turnover of around 40 million euros,” but didn’t specify whether that turnover referred to the Brunswick sale or the investment group sale.

After the acquisition of Moody in 2007, Sealine is the second traditional English brand and the sixth brand overall in the company, which now consists of Hanse, Dehler, Moody, Fjord, Varianta and Sealine.

The F380 model that Sealine announced will also be completed and is due to celebrate its world premiere at the boot 2014 boat show Jan. 18-26 in Düsseldorf.

There are plans to expand the product range even further in 2014. Details are expected to be announced after the Düsseldorf show.

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