Sailing again

Postat la 09 iulie 2009 17 afişări

After four months of freeze, the luxury ship market seems to be out at sea again.

Millionaires are tired of not spending and yacht producers have been quick to react, launching more products that ever. A stroll in the marinas and harbours on the Mediterranean is enough to take the pulse of the economy. Two years ago, the harbour of Monte Carlo was a permanent exhibition of mega-yachts that used to bring the rich and famous to their favourite love nest. This happened at the time when the economy was booming and yachts were one of the symbols of the social status for which businesspeople often led a fi ercer battle than that for a company takeover. Meanwhile, the fi nancial crisis has tempered the consumers’ appetite for the biggest, most expensive, most powerful yacht, and marinas in some cases have become sale showrooms.


For instance, the marina of Varazze, Italy, where every second ship displays the ”Vende” (for sale) sign. In this context, the yacht market has coped with strong winds, even storms in some cases. Ferretti, one of the biggest yacht producers, which in 2007 was acquired by Britain’s Candover investment fund, was on the point of entering under the Italian state’s control because of debts. The French producer of luxury yachts Couach has fi led for bankruptcy protection. ”The yacht market dropped by 20-30%, and in the November 2008-February 2009 period it was completely blocked,” explains Paolo Vitelli, founder and CEO of Azimut-Benetti group, the world’s biggest producer of yachts, which in 2008 produced ships worth 960m euros. Vitelli says the group was somewhat more sheltered from the storm because of the family business structure and the decision not to get listed.


Urmărește Business Magazin

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