Almost two years ago to the day, Cape4 Yachting and IYC announced a merger that would see a new holding company form under the abbreviated brand name of the latter.
Brokerage firms, by nature of their configurations, are distinctively different in the way they conduct themselves, so aligning the operations of two different companies, in markets requiring different operational approaches, was bound to have its challenges.
“With any acquisition, you plan ahead and you hope for the best outcome but, in reality, things will never pan out exactly as you’d hoped,” said Stefanos Macrymichalos, CEO of IYC, in a conversation with The Superyacht Report during the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
“One of our main objectives was to align the European operations with the operations in the US, and that’s taking a little longer than we’d anticipated. It’s coming along nicely, but they are very different markets.”
Macrymichalos explained that the investment should be looked at in two ways – one being the monetary return and the other being the brand value created. “There is a lot of money being invested in IYC in rebuilding the brand. At this point, we’re still investing, but we do expect to start seeing results in the next two to three years.”
The firm would, however, consider another acquisition to bolster its position. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to acquire or merge. I’ve said this in the past, the market will consolidate. The current brokerage business is an unsustainable model and the number of players needs to be reduced.
“If we do find opportunities, companies that meet certain criteria, are innovative, are in the right locations and are the right fit, they are definitely companies we’d like to bring under our instruction.”
Macrymichalos is also adamant in retaining a core of the business in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cape4 Yachting’s roots. “We do see a lot of potential in the Eastern Mediterranean, but things have slowed down a little because of the current political environment.
“Turkey and Greece are going through a difficult phase with immigration – both countries have been heavily affected by that – but, on the other hand, Croatia and Montenegro are doing exceptionally well.
"Turkey, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro will always be primary cruising destinations, so having a strong presence there makes a lot of sense. We will continue to support them heavily. We have a lot of clients in that territory, so we will continue expanding our presence there so that when the political environment stabilises, we will be the major go-to company in that region."
Read the full interview with Stefanos Macrymichalos in The Superyacht Report, issue 178.
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