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Yachting - Privilege Marine catamarans leave the hands of the German HanseYachts AG

The Privilege Marine shipyard, located in Port Olona, in Les Sables d'Olonne (France), is leaving the German group HanseYachts, only 3 years after its purchase. Privilege Marine will be taken over by its managing director and minority shareholder, Gilles Wagner, accompanied by a pool of owner investors.

The Privilege Marine shipyard is located in Port Olona (Les Sables d'Olonne), on the western coast of France

The Privilege Marine shipyard is located in Port Olona (Les Sables d'Olonne), on the western coast of France

As part of the optimization of its portfolio of yacht brands, the German group HanseYachts AG (120 million euros of turnover in 2020-2021, with a loss of 9 million euros), through its subsidiary Privilège Marine Holding GmbH, has concluded today, June 16, 2022, an agreement on a right of sale for its stake in the French shipyard Privilège Marine.

A consortium formed around Privilège Marine CEO Gilles Wagner is reportedly being considered as the buyer of the French catamaran manufacturer based in Port Olona.

If HanseYachts exercises the put option after receiving the declaration of the works council of Privilège Marine SAS, which must be consulted beforehand according to French law, the sale agreement can be expected to take place in July 2022, for a transaction completed by October 2022. 

Following the sale of Privilège Marine SAS for a symbolic purchase price, HanseYachts AG, as the parent company of the group, would deconsolidate Privilège Marine SAS.

In the individual financial statements of HanseYachts AG for the relevant fiscal year, significant assets amounting to approximately EUR 15 million would be depreciated (molds...), while having a much smaller impact on the consolidated results. Even taking into account a possible sale, the equity of HanseYachts AG (separate financial statements HGB) has developed positively since the last year-end (June 30, 2021). An extraordinary and unplanned charge resulting from a planned disposal of assets and liabilities attributable to the company of approximately EUR 1.5 to 2.0 million is expected to be reported in the consolidated financial statements for the year in question. In the event of deconsolidation, the Management Board of HanseYachts expects corresponding reductions in revenue from fiscal year 2022/2023 due to the discontinuation of catamaran sales (which currently contribute approximately 6% to consolidated revenue in the current fiscal year 2021/2022), but at the same time positive effects on the consolidated result of HanseYachts AG, particularly in fiscal year 2022/2023, due to the separation of risks. 

Privilège is one of the oldest catamaran brands in the world. The shipyard builds ocean-going luxury catamarans with selling prices ranging from 1.5 to 7 million euros (excluding VAT).

Privilege Marine was acquired by HanseYachts AG in June 2019. It has since remained operationally independent.

Since the takeover, the product range has been redesigned or renewed, maintaining the partnership with naval architect Marc Lombard. In addition to the facelift of the Privilege Signature 510, a brand new Privilege Signature 580 was launched, which received the Multihull of the Year Award 2022. The Signature 650 and Signature 750 are currently under construction. Privilège's order book is worth 57.4 million euros.  Privilège currently employs 250 people. 

"HanseYachts is sincerely pleased that Privilège Marine is going back to being independent. Both companies have learned a lot from each other. However, as the expected synergy effects could not be realized to the extent hoped for, this strategic step is now the best solution for both parties. In the future, HanseYachts will focus on the six remaining brands, Fjord, Ryck, Sealine, Hanse, Dehler and Moody, which also have a historically high order book and are facing a period of profitable growth," Hanjo Runde, new CEO of HanseYachts AG, told ActuNautique.com.

Decoding - It is difficult for a group specialized in mass-produced boats such as HanseYachts AG to find an industrial coherence with a brand specialized in semi-custom luxury boats such as Privilège Marine, as the sales cycles and customer risks are totally different. With its range, an ideal location on the waterfront, 250 employees, and the proximity of renowned boat builders, Privilège could attract interest, but will need capital to continue its development. In particular in the semi-custom luxury catamaran market, largely dominated by Sunreef Yachts, which plans new industrial investments to further increase its production capacity. 

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