February 12 2020
The 48 employees of the Fora Marine shipyard in La Rochelle can now breathe a sigh of relief: their shipyard, which has been in receivership since mid-December, has just been taken over by a major player in the French yachting industry, the Grand Large Yachting Group.
In addition to Grand Large Yachting, a second takeover bid was presented by Maxime Vedrenne, the yard's sales director, and Stéphane Olevier, a powertrain engineering industrialist from the Paris region (V-Motech).
Although Grand Large Yachting may not have been the best on paper, the group had a major asset for him: the full approval of the yard's employees, reassured by its industrial weight and its expertise in the successful takeover and turnaround of yards in difficulty.
The fourth largest French yacht builder behind the Bénéteau, Fountaine-Pajot and Catana Groups, Grand Large Yachting is a group founded in 2003 by Stéphan Constance and Xavier Desmarets, specialising in the construction of so-called niche boats, which has been built up over the years through the takeover of various shipyards: Allures, Garcia, Outremer, Alumarine, Ocean Voyager and Gunboat.
The company has a turnover of around 50 million euros and employs 450 people through 12 companies based all over France (Channel, Atlantic and Mediterranean).
Deciphering - The takeover of RM Fora Marine by Grand Large Yachting is a further confirmation of the ongoing concentration in the French nautical industries. Backed by a leader in the sector, RM yachts should not lose their soul, in a group used to managing niche brands with strong character. Industrially, the challenge will be interesting to observe. How to make a CP-epoxy construction technique, which is still too traditional, profitable? How to improve the quality of construction? Shouldn't the small models in the range opt for composite hulls, leaving wood to the large units alone? RM Fora Marine will have a lot of news in the coming months...