WIDER has confirmed that CEO Tilli Antonelli (above left) and Financial Director Paolo Favilla (right) have left the company following its complete acquisition by Exa Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited, on 11 April.
The news had already spread through the Italian industry, but came as a surprise nonetheless as WIDER was the brainchild of Antonelli after he quit as chairman of Pershing, which he also founded. He set up the new shipyard with his long-time business partner Favilla in 2010, initially building innovative 12m day cruisers with fold-out cockpits that effectively made them 'wider' and stabilised the hull at anchor.
Michael Hackman, Executive Vice President - Marine Operations & New Ship Building with Genting Hong Kong, has been installed in the interim. The new management recognises and thanks Antonelli and Favilla for “their tremendous vision and passion for the business and wishes them all the best in their future endeavours.”
WIDER’s attention is now focused on its first superyacht, the WIDER 150 M/Y Bartali, which following modifications requested by her owner is due to leave the yard shortly. Work also continues on the WIDER 165 (Project Cecilia) that remains on schedule to be launched in Q1 of 2018.
Project Cecilia is being financed by Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Executive Chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong. Following a capital increase in 2012, Lim Kok Thay became the biggest single shareholder in WIDER with a 50 per cent stake owned by Exa Ltd. Antonelli and Favilla shared the remaining 50 per cent.
“We remain in discussion with a number of interested clients about the sale of Cecilia, as well as future projects and hope to report further developments in the near future,” says the shipyard.
Genting Hong Kong is a global corporation engaged in cruise shipping and related operations. It pioneered the Asian cruise industry with the founding of Star Cruises in 1993. In 2015 it launched Dream Cruises and acquired Crystal Cruises in the same year. The company owns the German Lloyd Werft shipyard and three other shipyards, collectively known as MV Werften, also in Germany.