Yachting Art Magazine

Yachting - Investment in Portugal underway for Groupe Bénéteau

The world's number two yacht builder, the French Groupe Bénéteau (Bénéteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Prestige, Excess Catamarans, Four Winns, Wellcraft, Delphia), has entered into exclusive negotiations with the Portuguese shipyard Starfisher, with a view to acquiring a significant share of its capital. 

Yachting - Investment in Portugal underway for Groupe Bénéteau

The rumor has been circulating on the pontoons for several months now, and has just been confirmed by the Bénéteau Group, in a quarterly financial communication.

Faced with a sharp rise in demand in the under-35-foot powerboat market, the Bénéteau Group was looking for additional production capacity in this market, with its Polish industrial site in Ostroda already running at full capacity, despite its recent expansion.

It must be said that the latest outboard models from the French group are literally a hit in Europe and North America, with a top-of-the-range unit such as the Bénéteau Antares 11 outboard having sold over 200 units in just a few months! 

Increasing its production capacity quickly, without going through the creation of a new production site, therefore passed for the Bénéteau Group, by the purchase of an existing shipyard, following the example of the purchase made by the French company of the Polish Delphia in July 2018.

This search for production capacity was ultimately focused on Southern Europe, in order to reduce lead times and transport costs, with Poland also facing endemic recruitment difficulties and a sharp rise in costs.

In this context, the Bénéteau Group finally approached the Portuguese shipyard Starfisher, based in Campos, in the north of the country, not far from Braga.

Starfisher is a family-run shipyard with 200 employees and a production capacity of 400 boats a year, producing a range of outboard boats marketed under its own brand, but also for the Spanish company De Antonio. 

Through a significant but minority stake in the first instance, the Bénéteau Group will have significant additional production capacity for its various brands of outboard boats, including Bénéteau and Jeanneau, but why not also Four-Winns and Wellcraft.

We will come back to this news very soon in our next editions.

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