In August 2013, Wanda Group acquired 91.81% of shares in Sunseeker International (Holdings) Limited （”Sunseeker”）. Wanda Group, owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, who was named China’s richest person by Forbes Magazine in 2013, is a Beijing headquartered conglomerate with strong footprints across China, Europe and the US, operating mainly in four sectors, including commercial properties, culture & entertainments, luxury hotels and department stores. By 2013, the company had total assets of USD$62.8 bn and has been ambitious in global expansion in recent years.
Sunseeker announces that, after five years’ service and having led the business through successive periods of ownership, Stewart McIntyre has confirmed his decision to step down as Managing Director and will leave the Sunseeker Group at the end of July 2014, to pursue other interests.
To ensure the continuation of a strong management structure, Wanda Group has restated its commitment to the management and operations of Sunseeker Group and has formed a special Board Committee with responsibility for the selection and appointment of a new CEO for the Sunseeker Group. Sunseeker is also advanced with plans to appoint two independent non-executive directors to strengthen Sunseeker’s operating model and to bring further strategic expertise to the Sunseeker Board and thereby ensure the continued future success of Sunseeker's business and its global brand.
In the interim, Wanda Group has endorsed the appointment of Robert Braithwaite CBE as Acting President of Sunseeker. Braithwaite, founder of Sunseeker, will now work alongside Sunseeker's Executive Team and Wanda Group's Post Merger Integration Team, who will manage the business, pending the appointment of a new CEO.
Chairman WANG Jianlin of Wanda Group commented “Wanda is committed to Sunseeker and its workforce and as such looks forward to working with the new management on initiatives that continue to build the brand. In the meantime, Wanda has already put a plan in place to transform Sunseeker to the next generation of success. Wanda will continue to provide both financial and management support to Sunseeker going forward.”
Robert Braithwaite, on behalf of the Executive Team said “Sunseeker is not just a boat manufacturer; it is a family and a global brand. We are proud of our heritage, but as a company, Sunseeker has never stood still and we will work very hard together with Wanda Group to further strengthen our leading market position, through cutting edge innovation, world class services and a global distribution network. We have huge confidence that the team in Poole, as well as the wider distributor and supplier network, will pull together as a team to take Sunseeker forward to a successful future.“
Following the successful launch of its flagship 155 Yacht (the largest private motor yacht built in the UK) in April 2014 and as we approach the European boat show season, Sunseeker will be announcing a market leading new model program for 2015 and beyond.