Italian yachting company Azimut-Benetti announced its complete ownership of Fraser on 30 September, having increased its shares in the company from 83 percent to 100 percent. The strategic buyout was the final stage of the acquisitions process, with the share acquired from V.Ships, a long-time minority shareholder.
Paolo Vitelli, Azimut-Benetti’s group president, commented: “This recent acquisition is part of the strategic plan of our group to offer superyacht owners not only the most beautiful yachts, but also the utmost service. We are the only player in the yachting industry that takes care of the owner along the entire process, from yacht purchasing to management, refit and repair service, crew recruitment and chartering to resale.”
As well as buying and selling more than 50 superyachts per year, Fraser is the world’s largest provider of yacht consultancy services, with a 15 percent market share, the yard added. Its portfolio includes the 56m Benetti yacht Ulysses and over 100 others. Further expansion is in the pipeline after the recent establishment of bases in New York and Hong Kong.
“Such a decision emphasises the commitment made by the Azimut-Benetti Group towards the Fraser brand and its desire to support Fraser’s development,” commented Peter Redford, managing director of 5 Star Motor Cruisers, exclusive importers of Azimut yachts to Australia. “As a Group we are unique in that we provide a complete service to the industry and to the yachts’ lifecycle; from yacht construction, management, repairs, refit and resale, to crew selection, crew management and yacht charter.”
As a result of the move to complete ownership, Fraser and Azimut-Benetti will be working together to expand their sales and service presence within Australasia, with a focus on strategic interstate business partners. Redford confirmed that 5 Star will be opening a new office located at Sydney Superyacht Marina within the next month. “We aim to offer the full range of value-added services available to all yacht owners.”
Azimut-Benetti is recognised as a major leader in superyacht construction, topping lists of total LOA of yachts under work in their six yards.
Benetti is currently working on the new flagship, the 107m Benetti FB277, and the 70m Project 169, due for launch in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
Azimut Yachts plans to launch an array of new products from their five collections (Grande, Flybridge, S, Magellano and Atlantis) with progressive use of carbon fibre and the collaboration of world-class interior designers.