Specialist marine interiors company, Superyacht Interiors New Zealand (SINZ) has been sold by it’s parent company ‘Easy Equities Ltd’, owned by the Goodfellow family. Purchased by Auckland-based couple Michael and Marina Waterhouse, the sale completed on 16 August. Michael Waterhouse has worked in the marine industry for more than 15 years, while wife Marina has a legal and procurement background, specialising in international law and commercial negotiations.

The Waterhouses are the third owners of the company in as many years. Originally Robinson Marine Interiors, the company was acquired by SINZ in 2010 before being listed for sale in 2013. Over the past three years SINZ has worked hard to build a strong international and local work base, with more than 30 superyacht projects completed in the company's history. Significant contracts have come from from yards such as Yachting Developments, Trinity Yachts and Pendennis, including work on the major refit of M5.

Michael and Marina Waterhouse

Building on the company’s existing reputation will be a main focus for the Waterhouses. “We will continue to build on the strong SINZ brand,” said Michael Waterhouse, Director of SINZ. “We are very passionate the company, we see it as a strong Kiwi business. Watching the team do their work is all the explanation you need for why the company has the reputation it does.” The couple are proud of the work ethic and skills of their team. “All the feedback we’ve had from clients has been great and we have received good support from the existing customers of the company,” said Marina Waterhouse. “It really reinforces the strength of the brand for us.”

SuperyachtsNews.con spoke to Gerard van Tilborg, former Director of SINZ, about why the company was sold. “In the current market it was becoming difficult for us to maintain the high level of turnover required by our shareholders: it was a difficult economic prospect to maintain,” explained van Tilborg. “Our parent company was committed to seeing the business continue, and we felt that Marina and Michael offered a good opportunity for that to happen, so the business could continue to export and employ people. There are lots of international opportunities out there, and it is up to them to take advantage of them. We believe that Michael and Marina will be able to cut overheads while still maintaining the high level of service SINZ is known for. Later, as the economy improves, they will then be able to regrow the business as demand dictates.” Van Tilborg told us that during the changeover period the old business will operate as 'Boat Solutions' while it completes all outstanding work, including interior work on M5 and work at Trinity Yachts. They also have arrangements and capacity in place to honour all warranty commitments from previous projects.

The current SINZ facility

The current core team of SINZ numbers 35 across all trades, with the Waterhouses goal being to re-grow the team as work levels increase. Later targets are to have offices bases in both the USA and the UK, where the company already has strong work links. Diversifying into the residential sector is also an objective, with the company having recently complete residential work in New York. A more immediate goal will be an imminent move to new premises, still in Auckland, in order to centralise all operations.

With the sale complete the couple are now using their time to reasses and evaluate the current structures and put their own stamp on to the business. “It was a good time to purchase, as the temporary lull between orders allows us to review the current set up,” explained Michael Waterhours. “The company already has well established processes and systems, which we would like to continue. We’ll keep breathing new life into the company and continuing to grow from there. Our goal is to ensure that the business will continue to be the benchmark of the industry.”

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