Known for having a touch of class, British luxury brands are being snapped up by Chinese buyers. Now the posh yacht company Sunseeker will join the company of British firms like Weetabix, Thames Water, and MG Rover cars that have transferred to at least partial Chinese ownership, the Daily Mail reports.
The deal has not been officially announced yet, but Sunseeker has acknowledged its sale, and a spokesman has said: ‘The potential new majority shareholder, who has no current interest in the luxury motor yacht sector, supports Sunseeker’s commitment to superior products and its premium brand, both of which would be further enhanced by its investment.”
Concurrently, Wang Jianlin, chairman and founder of Dalian Wanda, told the Financial Times, “We bought the best yacht company in the UK,” prompting the industry to put two-and-two together.
Word has been released that any deal will be dependent on the brand remaining at its location in Poole, Dorset, which supports 2,300 local employees.
Some of the biggest celebrities, like Michael Douglas and Simon Cowell are thought to be a client of the company, as is Wang himself – he bought a Sunseeker Predator 108 Special Edition in 2010. While the boat cost him around 4 million GBP, the company itself is thought to be offered at 300 million GBP.
Sunseeker manufactures about 50 boats per year, but the company charted rough waters in 2010: during the financial crisis, it lost 9 million GBP and broke the loan agreement it had negotiated. Then, the Dublin-based investment group FL Partners stepped in, and the company got back in the black.
“If a deal is concluded, it will be fantastic news for the business, the wider Sunseeker ‘family’ and the motor yacht industry and will allow Sunseeker to expand,” the brand’s representative said.
Separately, Wang indicated that Wanda is also considering a large investment in a luxury London hotel.
photo credit: sunseeker