The Chinese will take to the sea in style following an announcement Tuesday that state-owned Shandong Heavy Industry Group-Weichai Group will be buying a majority share of Italian yacht maker, Ferretti Group for $479 million.
The Chinese company's purchase of 75 percent of the Italian company's shares will allow Shandong to expand the yacht business to China. Shandong bought its majority holdings as part of Ferretti's debt restructuring plan, according to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Ferretti's capital structure will be fully restructured with a $127 million boost in equity capital, and the company's debts will be reduced to a reasonable level of $153 million, according to Ferretti's Web site.
Richard Tai, luxury-goods analyst at Shanghai-based research firm China Research & Intelligence, told Bloomberg that Chinese consumers have more money and are looking to spend it on luxury goods. It just shows China's phenomenal economic development over the past 30 years, Tai said.
Ferretti's management cast the deal as a way to accomplish strategic goals.
We are strongly convinced that this partnership will lead to very satisfactory results and will provide Ferretti Group with a strong capital base which will allow the development of long-term growth plans, Noberto Ferretti, chair and founder of the yacht company, said in a statement. Moreover China is one of the most rapidly developing countries for the yachting sector and has great potential for the coming five to 10 years.
Ferretti was founded in 1968, has nine brands of yachts and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. Shandong is a equipment manufacturer in China which runs four main businesses, commercial vehicles, machinery construction, auto parts and power systems.
Developing the yacht business is one of the Group's strategic goals for the next five years, Xuguang Tan, Shandong chairman, said. Ferretti, which possesses iconic international brands, state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, products of the highest quality and an extensive sales network, is an ideal partner.
In its last round of trading on the Shenzhen stock exchange Weichai Group finished up 4.31 percent, trading at RMB 31.19.