It was almost a year ago to this date that the Global Yachting Group (GYG), parent company to prolific yacht finishing brands Pinmar and Rolling Stock, secured private equity investment from Lonsdale Capital Partners. The deal was part of the company’s plans to expand its range of services and geographical reach through strategic acquisitions that would bring in synergies to the group.
News of the acquisition of French superyacht finishing company ACA Marine is the first step in the execution of this strategy. Founded by Chris Atkinson in 1997, ACA Marine has evolved to be considered one of the leading fairing, painting and finishing companies in Europe. Today ACA Marine dominates the refit market in France as well as having a significant presence in the northern European new build market.
The company is currently based in La Rochelle and managed by Chris Atkinson and fellow director Nick Carter, both of whom will remain as executive directors and significant shareholders following the acquisition. The company engages over 180 technicians that are deployed in shipyards in France, Germany, Holland and the UK.
“We are delighted to become a part of the Global Yachting Group as it will enable us to compete more effectively in both the refit and new build sectors while retaining our reputation for delivering a high quality service to our clients,” comments Atkinson. “We have developed a strong market niche for ACA Marine that we will continue to operate from within the GYG portfolio. With the strong financial backing of GYG and the access to additional technology and resources I foresee a very exciting future for ACA Marine.”
Remy Millott, executive chairman of the Global Yachting Group, explains that the acquisition will improve GYG’s European presence, especially in the French refit market, as well as bringing another highly successful and respected brand in to the Group. “Chris and Nick have built a very successful business; they run a very tight ship and are very highly regarded in the industry,” he continues. “I am delighted to welcome them to GYG and look forward to working with them to continue the development of ACA Marine.”
In terms of the company structure going forward, ACA Marine will operate as an independent business unit within GYG. Nick Carter will become director of ACA Marine and Chris Atkinson will act as technical and commercial director.
“We fully recognise the value of the ACA Marine business and the unique strengths of the brand,” adds Rupert Savage, CEO at GYG. “Our mission is to work with Chris and Nick to help facilitate the profitable growth of the business, offering our clients industry leading companies in strategic locations, which will improve the quality and capacity of our services. They have a great team and we look forward to working with them.”
Since the Lonsdale deal in March 2016, GYG’s management team has been vocal in their intent to focus on acquisitions in two phases, with phase one focusing on a closer fit to its core business: yacht painting companies with different geographical locations and increasing the retail division. With the ACA Marine acquisition, GYG has been quick to implement the first phase, and more announcements are likely to follow. The second phase, which intends to look towards joint ventures in either Europe or the US, will see GYG move further towards its long-term goal of becoming a leading superyacht service provider worldwide.
Images include Global Yachting Group's main office in Palma de Mallorca, Remy Millott and Rupert Savage