British yachtmaker set to be sold to Chinese firm

Posted on 7 Jun 2013 by The Manufacturer

Sunseeker, Britain's largest luxury yachtmaker, is set to be sold to a Chinese property group for a reported sum of £300m.

According to the Financial Times, Dalian Wanda, a conglomerate with interests in the entertainment, retail and hospitality industries, intends to keep manufacturing and design operations at Sunseeker’s current Poole, Dorset location, securing 2,500 jobs.

Wang Jianlin, chairman and founder of the Beijing-based company, confirmed it had bought “the best yacht company in the UK,” but didn’t reveal the identity.

However, sources close to the deal confirmed it is Sunseeker, with the impending transaction continuing the current trend of Chinese businesses buying into Western luxury brands.

Sunseeker, founded in 1979 by entrepreneur Robert Braithwaite, is one of the UK’s most profitable non-listed companies, with annual revenue in the region of £293m.

It gained further prominence in 2006 when its Predator 108 Special Edition yacht appeared in the James Bond film Casino Royale.