Wise Equity, the management company for the Wisequity V Fund, has announced the acquisition of 60 percent of Cantiere del Pardo, the Italian group operating in the production and commercialisation of sailing and motor boats and owner of the brands Grand Soleil Yachts, Pardo Yachts and VanDutch.
This is the third deal of the Wisequity V Fund, that last year raised €260 million in less than two months since its launch.
Cantiere del Pardo is an historical Italian shipyard. Founded in 1973, it has established itself as a well-knowned brand of modern yachting. The shipyard achieved about €58 million in 2019/2020 and the order book for 2020/2021 projects a growth above 25 percent.
With this deal, Gigi Servidati and Fabio Planamente wanted to open the capital structure to an historical Italian private equity player, aiming at continuing the path they started in 2014 when they took over the shipyard’s management.
In these six years, the shipyard has launched eight new sailing boat models, introducing the Grand Soleil Long Cruise line, and has entered the motorboat segment presenting four new models and recently acquiring the VanDutch brand.
In the coming years, with the current management at the helm of the shipyard, the objective will be to continue to invest both in the offer of sailing boats and in the development of the powerboat segment.
The goal, in line with the history of Cantiere del Pardo, is on the one hand to strengthen the leadership in the 30-80 feet segment and, on the other hand, to evaluate opportunities for expansion in other segments. In addition, management will pursue opportunities to acquire brands complementary and synergic with the current offer of Cantiere del Pardo, replicating the recent VanDutch brand acquisition.
The deal was overseen by Wise Equity partner Michele Semenzato together with Bruno Barago as the investment manager.
Michele Semenzato, Wise Equity Founding Partner, said: “Cantiere del Pardo represents a history of great success in a sector in which Italy has a strong tradition and world leadership. We are happy to be able to support an excellent management team that has achieved an incredible turnaround of the shipyard.
“Future projects include the development of both the sailing segment and the powerboat segment. In the former, the shipyard has a great tradition built on attention to design and construction quality, elements that will not only be maintained but strengthened and placed at the base of the future developments. In the latter, the journey has just begun, but many successes have already been achieved, and the goal is to build on this initial, successful path.”
Fabio Planamente, CEO of Cantiere del Pardo, stated: “In the decision to open up the capital structure to provide additional resources for the development of the company, we paid strong attention to the choice of the partner. We found in Wise Equity the partner we were looking for, not only for their twenty years of experience in accompanying medium-sized Italian companies in their path of growth and internationalisation but also for their industrial mind frame that we are sure will allow us to have a shareholder sensible to the peculiarities of our sector.”
Gigi Servidati, President, commented: “The entry of the new shareholder Wise Equity has strategic importance for us to ensure an acceleration in growth and the achievement of the many ambitious goals we have set ourselves.
“For us, this means having the strength and resources to develop new innovative models, both sailing and motorboats, that will meet the needs of shipowners who have been trusting us for years and who see our shipyard as a point of excellence. Having the resources to reduce the time to market of our models rewards the expectations of those who have believed for years in the strength of our premium brands: Grand Soleil Yachts, Pardo Yachts and, recently, VanDutch.”