HanseYachts acquires majority stake in French cat builder

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HanseYachts AG, based in Greifswald, Germany, has acquired French catamaran builder Privilège Marine from its majority shareholder Aurelius. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hanse said in a statement that it initially bought the molds of existing yachts and secured the marketing rights from Aurelius, which acquired the French catamaran builder in June 2017. It will now have sole ownership.

Hanse said that Privilège is the sixth-largest catamaran builder in the world, with models from 50 to 75 feet LOA. The company, which last year had sales of $171 million (150 million euros), has been building sailing and power catamarans for more than 30 years. Its distribution network includes 230 dealers in 90 countries. Privilège CEO Gilles Wagner will continue to run the facilities in Les Sables d'Olonne, with 150 employees.

"After a dry spell, Privilège is about to break even,” said Dr Jens Gerhardt, CEO of HanseYachts in the statement. “This is the ideal time for us to take over the company completely and expand our multi-brand strategy. Privilège has a healthy order book of more than 25 million euros. The catamaran market remains attractive, it is the fastest growing of all global sailing markets and has doubled in less than five years. With the acquisition of Privilège, we are increasing our capacity by more than 30 million per year, giving further impetus to our long-term growth course.”

Gerhardt said the acquisition would provide “uplift from the effects of synergy and the broader distribution network of HanseYachts AG.”

HanseYachts now owns seven yacht brands including Hanse, Dehler, Moody, VA, Privilege, Fjord and Sealine.

In May, it reported an 11 percent increase in sales for its first three fiscal quarters to $107.8 million (94.7 million euros) from the same period a year ago. It said that its backlog of orders for the first three quarters were up 10.6 percent to $72.7 million (63.9 million euros). 

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