As part of its significant UK investment program, China’s largest premier commercial property and entertainment conglomerate, Dalian Wanda Group, and well known British yacht builder, Sunseeker International Ltd, announced today, on June 19, 2013, that they have entered a definitive agreement under which Wanda will acquire a majority shareholding of 91.81% in pre-eminent luxury motor yacht maker Sunseeker, with the remaining 8.19% to be acquired by Sunseeker management. The two stakes were priced consistently. The deal has a total investment value of GBP320 million and is expected to close by mid-August.
Wanda committed to upholding the values and heritage of the Sunseeker brand
Commenting on the Sunseeker acquisition, Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin said, “Acquiring Sunseeker deepens Wanda’s international influence, further enhances our position in the global luxury, entertainment and tourism markets, and represents an important step forward for the overall development of our business. With the committed support of Wanda, Sunseeker is well-placed to take full advantage of opportunities in China, one of the world’s fastest growing luxury yacht markets. We are confident that this will bring Sunseeker’s business to the next level.”
Chairman Wang continued, “As a global brand in the luxury motor yacht sector with a rich history, Sunseeker is synonymous with quality and design leadership, and dedication to brand excellence. Wanda recognises the importance of Sunseeker’s investment in innovation, the quality craftsmanship produced by its skilled workforce and its commitment to using the world’s best components. We are committed to long-term investment in the Sunseeker business, its people and its iconic brand.”
Headquartered in the UK, Sunseeker is one of the world’s pre-eminent luxury motor yacht manufacturers and one of the few to have maintained consistent sales revenues in recent years. This reflects the strength and global standing of its products and brand.
Under Wanda ownership, Sunseeker will remain a British company, headquartered in Poole, Dorset, and will maintain its existing production bases in the UK along with its current workforce. The existing management will remain on the Sunseeker Boards and Mr. Robert Braithwaite, the founder of the company, will continue to be involved in the management of the business, providing continuity and a strong platform for the new model programme currently being developed in Poole. Wanda is fully committed to supporting Sunseeker’s superior products, its rich heritage and its premium brand, which will be further enhanced by Wanda’s continued investment.
Stewart McIntyre, Managing Director of Sunseeker International Ltd, commented, “We are thrilled to be joining the Wanda family. Support from Wanda will be instrumental in enabling Sunseeker to unlock the enormous potential of China’s rapidly expanding luxury yacht market. Combined with Wanda’s outstanding track record of entrepreneurship and history of commitment to supporting leading global brands, this investment will provide an excellent foundation for Sunseeker’s next phase of growth. Wanda’s history of managing global brands after acquisition makes clear that it will continue to invest in Sunseeker and support our management team as we take the company to the next stage of development.”
Over the next few years, China and other growth markets are expected to contribute significantly to global growth in the luxury yacht sector.
The transaction has already received regulatory approval from China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
In connection with this transaction, Ernst & Young LLP has served as advisor and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has served as legal counsel to Wanda; Puji Capital Limited has served as financial advisor.