On 29 January, judges at the Lucca Tribunal determined that Perini Navi has gone bankrupt. The restructuring plan presented by the company’s owners (the Tabacchi family) through the company Fenix, in order to account for business’ €100m debt has been blocked. Franco Della Santa has been appointed the Official Receiver for the business.
While it was announced in September 2020 that Perini Navi had secured new investment from Blue Skye Investment Group, consisting of a restructuring plan that, according to Milano Finanza, amounted to the issuance of a convertible loan of €30m across four years at a rate of 12 per cent with guarantees in pre-deduction on all goods owned by the shipyard, that plan never reached fruition. Indeed, the only request presented to the judges was a letter asking for a further extension in providing their findings. It was therefore decided by the Lucca Tribunal to deny any extensions and declare the business bankrupt.
The future of the Perini brand, therefore, is now in the hands of the Official Receiver, which needs to inspect and determine the value of the business’ various assets, as well as those businesses that are interested in acquiring Perini Navi through the means of a bankruptcy auction. At present, Sanlorenzo, Ferretti Group and Italian Sea Group have all expressed interest in acquiring Perini Navi.
“The only option to try and rescue Perini Navi is to go through a bankruptcy auction procedure,” reports Milano Finanza. “In the running are Ferretti Group and Sanlorenzo (now also Italian Sea Group), which in recent weeks had formally presented their candidacies for the procedure in progress. The two (three) contenders will aim at obtaining the lease of the business unit and subsequently purchasing the company and the brands.”
It is fair to say at this point that the loss of the Perini Navi brand would be a sad day for the superyacht market. However, the strength of the business’ brand, location and portfolio make it a fascinating opportunity for the potential investors and with three major shipyard groups already announcing their interest in the brand, one can assume that this does not signal the end of Perini Navi.
With facilities in Viareggio and La Spezia, it is clear that Perini Navi’s assets will be of strategic interest to shipyards that are hoping to increase their build capacity, especially to Sanlorenzo and Ferretti Group. Indeed, with its headquarters in Viareggio and its superyacht production in La Spezia, the acquisition of Perini Navi would make a great deal of sense to Sanlorenzo, which has been growing rapidly in recent years. Equally, a number of Ferretti Group brands use its facilities in La Spezia as their manufacturing base, so the Perini Navi facilities represent a fantastic opportunity for another growing business.
While the acquisition of Perini Navi’s physical assets perhaps represents the most obvious benefits for the superyacht businesses that are interested in the acquisition, the market would do well to remember the historical strength of Perini Navi’s brand. Indeed, the Italian Sea Group commented in its announcement: “In particular, The Italian Sea Group believes that maintaining in Italy a historic brand such as Perini Navi – the leading player of luxury sailing worldwide – represents a strategic interest also for Italy.”
As well as remembering what the brand has previously represented, it is worth considering what the brand may represent in the future. With a continuing shift towards sustainable yachting there has been a great deal of suggestion that the large sailing yacht industry is in line for a return to form, with various stakeholders implying that, especially amongst the younger demographics of superyacht owners and potential superyacht owners, sailing yachts are, quite rightly, seen as the greenest opportunity to engage with the superyacht market. As such, the acquisition of a business with a firm reputation for delivering quality large sailing yachts may be of additional interest to businesses that wish to diversify their portfolios with the acquisition of a business that may be considered to be greener than their current offerings.
SuperyachtNews will continue to monitor the developments and interview key stakeholders in the coming weeks and months.
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