July 29 2021
In the yacht charter sector, which has been severely affected in recent months by travel restrictions, the health crisis has had the direct consequence of bringing about a consolidation that no one would have expected even 18 months ago.
Yesterday evening, the PPF and Bénéteau Groups announced that they had joined forces, through a joint venture owned 59% by PPF and 41% by Bénéteau, to take control of Dream Yacht Charter and Navigare Yachting, two leaders in the sector that have been weakened in recent months by the health crisis.
While everyone knows the Bénéteau Group in the yachting industry, of which it is the world's number two through its 8 international brands, Bénéteau, Jeanneau, Prestige, Lagoon, Excess, Four Winns, Wellcraft, Delphia, PPF is less well known.
PPF presents itself as the leading industrial group in Central Europe, with Czech origins, a turnover of more than 8 billion euros, and is active in the banking, consumer credit, insurance, pharmaceutical, rail and media sectors.
Through the acquisition of Dream Yacht Charter and Navigare Yachting, the two partners create the world's number one yacht charter company, an activity in which the two entities, before covid, had a turnover of 200 million euros, for a fleet of nearly 1,200 boats, positioned in more than 50 marinas!
The great interest of this activity is that it is based on a recurrent economic model - except in exceptional situations such as covid - largely driven by internet applications, with Dream Yacht Charter bringing a nugget, Sam Boat, one of the leaders of its kind, into the takeover basket.
Strongly active in banking, consumer credit and insurance for individuals, PPF is further strengthening its position in this field, which is mainly digitally driven.
For Bénéteau, this arrival in the pleasure boat rental sector is fully in line with the reorganization plan announced on July 9, 2020 by Jérôme De Metz, a plan organized into three distinct parts: a product part with the creation of a House of Brands, an industrial part with the reorganization of factories by type of boat rather than by brand, and finally a "new business" part.
The acquisition of Dream Yacht Charter and Navigare Yachting, whose business model and digital model undoubtedly anticipate new uses for the leading yachting company, is part of this third phase.
It should be noted that PPF and Bénéteau have taken over 87% of the capital of Dream Yacht Charter, with its founder, Loïc Bonnet, remaining a minority shareholder and director of the company, and 50% of Navigare Yachting, with an option on the remaining 50%.
Decoding - The purchase of Dream Yacht Charter by the PPF-Bénéteau tandem is a hard blow for Fountaine-Pajot, the former reference shareholder, which will undoubtedly have to make provision for the loss. Its partner at the time, the investment fund Newstage Capital, is putting 2.6 million euros back into the pot, in order to retain a minority share of 8.7% of the capital. The arrival of two long-term industrialists in its capital is undoubtedly good news for its future development. According to our information, at the end of this acquisition, Dream Yacht Charter will no longer be a distributor (dealer) of Dufour yachts (Fountaine-Pajot Group), but will still be able to rent them within its fleet.