Dutch superyacht manufacturer Moonen Yachts has announced, following much speculation, that it under new ownership. The yard has been acquired by an Australian couple, Matthew and Louise Baxter. Originally of Scottish origin, Matthew is a successful Australian businessman and entrepreneur who established the A M Group, a privately-owned group of manufacturing companies, of which he is currently the executive chairman. According to the yard, the Baxter’s first discovered Moonen Yachts whilst sailing on Pittwater Harbour, Sydney, where they came across Moonen’s 25.7m motoyacht Aurora.

“It is a privilege to own a yard like Moonen. The brand has an impeccable pedigree, the yachts are true Dutch quality and the team is young, reliable, talented and very loyal to the company,” comments Matthew Baxter. “These characteristics are fundamental for success. I realise that the yard has to re-energise, but we are all well prepared with a strong strategic plan and a strong balance sheet, I see a promising future ahead.”

Matthew and Louise Baxter

“We have trust in these new investors and have faith that they will establish a strong future for Moonen Yachts,” says Johan Dubbelman, Moonen’s CEO. “The 30-50m market is solid for well-built designs, and our plans are to increase production. Currently we have one award winning 36m Martinique in build, she’s 50 per cent ready. The focus is to have her on display at the Monaco Yacht Show 2020.

Our aim is to scale up production efficiently and start two new build projects in the upcoming six months. Following on with the current build, we will start a second 36m and a 44m, both new and future proof timeless Moonen yachts with interiors designed by the award winning and renowned design houses, like Studio Indigo. By building on speculation, delivery times will be shorter and customisation still possible, which is an absolute advantage for our future clients.”

The vast majority of Moonen’s staff and workforce have been reappointed. According to the yard, this workforce will be reinforced by cooperating with long-term strategic partner and subcontractors.

In recent years, much of the news to come out of Moonen has proved to be rather negative, with the vast majority being focussed on the various failings of its previous investors, Altoros Hornos de Mexico. Let us hope that, under the ownership of the Baxters, a quality Dutch shipyard will not only be able to survive, but rather thrive.  

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