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Chinese complete deal for Poole’s Sunseeker
THE deal to sell Poole-based Sunseeker was completed yesterday.
As reported earlier this year in the Echo, China-based Dalian Wanda Group has paid £320 million for the yacht builder.
Dalian, China’s largest commercial property and entertainment conglomerate, had been looking to invest in the UK, with the Poole-based luxury yacht builder firmly on its radar.
It was confirmed in June by Wanda that it will acquire a 91.81 per cent shareholding, with the remaining 8.19 per cent being taken on by the yacht builder’s management.
As reported, it has been promised that the day-to-day running of Sunseeker in Poole will be unaffected, with its 2,500 workforce keeping their jobs.
Last night, Sunseeker MD Stewart McIntyre confirmed that the deal had been completed.
He reiterated that Sunseeker would remain a British company, headquartered in Poole and maintaining its primary production base there, along with its current workforce.
The management team will remain, with Robert Braithwaite staying as Group President.
When the deal was announced in June, Mr McIntyre said: “Support from Wanda will be instrumental in enabling Sunseeker to unlock the enormous potential of China’s rapidly-expanding luxury yacht market.
“Combined with Wanda’s outstanding track record of entrepreneurship and history of commitment to supporting leading global brands, this investment will provide an excellent foundation for Sunseeker’s next phase of growth.”
Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin added: “With the committed support of Wanda, Sunseeker is well-placed to take full advantage of opportunities in China, one of the world’s fastest growing luxury yacht markets. We are confident that this will bring Sunseeker’s business to the next level.”
Business and civic leaders in Poole have welcomed the move, hailing it as a vote of confidence in the town.
Irish private equity firm FL Partners previously owned Sunseeker, having taken it over in 2010 through a debt restructuring deal after it posted losses the previous year.
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