June 9 2020
Mythical brand if ever there was one in the 90s, on the outboard boat market, White Shark has just changed hands.
French Boat Market, French importer of the pleasure boat brands Pursuit, Galeon, Galia, Numarine, Rodman, Northstar and Nuova Jolly, has just announced the purchase of White Shark from its owner, the Oleron-based shipyard Guymarine, managed by Nicolas Chiloff.
This buyout seems logical, given the completely different positioning of Guymarine - the latest French specialist in promenade fishing boats - and White Shark, the luxury French-style outboard boats.
Talking about White Shark is inseparable from André Dauxin, boss at the beginning of the 90s of OMC France, subsidiary of the American nautical giant, which then produced the Evinrude and Johnson outboard motors, but also boat brands such as Four-Winns and Chris-Craft, Javelin....
Wishing to create a top-of-the-range French outboard brand, OMC launched the White Shark brand in 1993 - based on a creative idea by André Dauxin - whose models would be built in Vannes, at the Kelt shipyard, the French production unit of the American group.
Right from the launch, the success is immediate. It must be said that the good fairies looked at the cradle of the new born, which reuses Chris Craft hulls - please - with European-style deck plans and a more consensual design !
The difficulties of the OMC group at the end of the 90s, pushes André Dauxin to buy Kelt White Shark in 1996, while signing partnership with OMC for Evinrude outboard engines.
The explosion of OMC in 2000 - the biggest bankruptcy in the world of yachting - pushed the French manufacturer to sell its yard to the Poncin Group in 2003, which continued to develop the range, before repatriating its production in Charente Maritime, in Marans.
Much less strategic than the rest of the Group's business - multihulls - the brand was sold to Guymarine in 2013.
The buyer, who at the time was sorely lacking in equity capital, will never have the means to relaunch it, and after filing for bankruptcy and taking over in 2016, Guymarine clearly no longer has the means to relaunch two brands at the same time.
Last Thursday's acquisition of White Shark by French Boat Market is good news for the White Shark brand.
Up until now, French Boat Market's offer has lacked a brand of top of the range open hulls, a market which is well known to the Côte d'Azur company, which for a time imported Sessa Marine and Boston Whaler.
The takeover carried out last week concerns the intellectual property rights and hull moulds of the 8 models in the range.
Contacted by ActuNautique, French Boat Market, through its commercial director, Kevin Pittet, told us that he wanted to work with a French naval architecture firm to relaunch White Shark - without touching the magnificent hulls - while thinking about the European industrialist who will be entrusted with production.
A partnership with an engine manufacturer would be under negotiation, with two brands seeming logically well placed: Yamaha and Mercury Marine.
In the coming months, the buyer has a pleasing ambition: to present two new models in Paris, next December, at the Nautic...