FL Partners Buys Into Sunseeker
FL Partners has bought a significant majority stake in Sunseeker International, one of the world's pre-eminent luxury motor yacht manufacturers.
Sunseeker exports globally from its base in Poole in Dorset, employs over 2,300 people, and has specialised in the design and manufacture of luxury motor yachts for over forty years. Sunseeker is a world class brand and is renowned for quality, speed, style, grace, space and luxury - attributes that make Sunseeker boats instantly recognisable in any marina worldwide.
FL Partners (owners of the Racing Post) together with a number of UK and Irish investors have provided £25 million of new capital to Sunseeker, whose management have also co-invested with FL. This new capital follows on from a period of significant capital investment as the Company invested £40m plus in successfully expanding its manufacturing facilities and product range in Poole to deliver yachts of up to 40m in length, with plans and capacity to expand to 50m yachts. The strength of its brand and the consistent release of innovative and exciting new models across its range has allowed the Company to continue to generate strong revenues through the downturn. Sunseeker's global brand is now supported by its youngest ever product range, leading market positions and a strong balance sheet.
FL also refinanced Sunseeker's current debt with a long term package provided by Macquarie Bank and Haymarket Financial.
Co-founder Robert Braithwaite remains the largest single shareholder outside of FL Partners, and will be President and non-executive Chairman of Sunseeker International (Holdings) Limited. Stewart McIntyre, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed Managing Director. Joining the board with Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes of FL will be Andy Macfie of Souter Investments LLP; Souter Investments is transport magnate Brian Souter's personal investment vehicle.
Robert Braithwaite CBE said "I am delighted to welcome Neill and Peter to the Sunseeker board as my partners. The combination of significant new equity capital together with our existing market-leading positions is a compelling one; Sunseeker will continue to capture the imagination of its customers in all segments of the market and will have a very exciting future."
Neill Hughes of FL Partners said "We are delighted to be investing in one of the strongest global yacht businesses alongside Robert and the management team, and believe that Sunseeker's geographic reach, its fantastic brand and its continued new boat development programme positions the business for a very exciting future over the coming years."
Stewart McIntyre "Whilst we continue to operate in a recovering market place, Sunseeker is one of the few luxury yacht manufacturers which has maintained consistent sales revenue in recent years, itself a reflection of the global standing of the business, its products and the strength of its brand. Our products are in strong demand throughout the world, with few build slots available in FY11 while FY12 is filling up fast. The new investors - working together with the existing management team at Sunseeker - are dedicated to continued success through innovation, and the additional capital will ensure that Sunseeker uniquely amongst its peers has a strong platform for further growth."
Originally importers and distributors of boats into the UK from Scandinavia and the USA, Poole Power Boats (as Sunseeker was then known) started moulding and fitting out their own boats in the early 1970s. Sunseeker is now a unique UK manufacturing brand with global reach; it won numerous Queens Awards for Export and the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2007. A large part of Sunseeker's success lies in its commitment to constantly set new standards and benchmarks for boat design and quality, combined with a strong belief in innovation and excellence and a determination to never settle for second best. Today, the Sunseeker dealer network spans the globe, bringing world-class service to a world-class brand - a brand driven by the pursuit of perfection, and one that is appreciated by individuals who share the same dream. Sunseeker's current range includes nine new boats and comprises the Superhawk 43 Portofino 48 sports cruiser, the Predator 54, 60, 64, 74, 115 and 130 performance motoryachts, the Manhattan 52, 60 and 70 flybridge Motoryachts and the Yacht range from 80 foot to the new 46 Metre yacht.
About FL Partners
FL Partners is a Dublin-based investment boutique set up to acquire and co-invest in businesses in Ireland, the UK and Europe. It was established in September 2006 by Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes, both former senior investment bankers with significant hands-on business experience, who typically operate as executive Co-Chairman in all their investee companies. To date, FL Partners has managed the acquisition of Kaymed Limited, The Racing Post and ATA Group. FL Partners has also acquired a significant strategic stake in UTV Media, which operates a nationwide radio network in Ireland and the ITV franchise in Northern Ireland.
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is Brian Souter's personal investment vehicle and is totally independent of Stagecoach Group. Brian Souter commented: "We manufacture great products in this country and export them overseas. Sunseeker has a dynamic management team and a unique product range and will join Souter Investment's growing portfolio of manufacturing investments."
About Haymarket Financial
Haymarket Financial is an independent specialist finance company that offers bespoke lending products to corporate clients. Haymarket Financial was founded in 2009 by a team of experienced banking professionals with backing from TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P., Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and OMERS Private Equity
For further information please contact:
Stewart McIntyre of Sunseeker International: +44 (0)1202 381111
Gemma Marsh of Sunseeker International: +44 (0)1202 494041