China's Dalian Wanda completes takeover of Sunseeker
Dalian Wanda’s acquisition makes Sunseeker well placed to ride expected wave of boat buying in China. Sunseeker is now officially a Chinese-owned firm after Dalian Wanda today completed its £320 million acquisition of the Poole-based boatbuilder.
News of the takeover first broke in early June, with a confirmation coming on 19 June that the Chinese company, with interests in commercial property and tourism, was looking to buy the UK’s biggest boatbuilder.
Dalian Wanda is headed by Wang Jianlin, the owner a Sunseeker Predator 108 and reportedly China’s richest person. In a statement issued today, he said: “We are excited to embark on the next chapter in the development of Sunseeker’s business and look forward to building upon the company’s reputation of excellence. “Wanda is well positioned to help Sunseeker capitalise on the trend we see for China and other growth markets to contribute significantly to global expansion in the luxury yacht sector over the next few years.”
Dalian Wanda has taken a 91.81% stake in the company, with Sunseeker management holding the remaining 8.19%. Following news of the takeover in June, Suneeeker moved quickly to ease concerns that the company would be shipped offshore.
This was later underlined by the Chinese company, which said Sunseeker would remain headquartered in Poole and maintain its British production bases and workforce.
If predictions about boat ownership in China hold true – with one official estimate suggesting the number of boats could jump from 3,000 currently to 100,000 by 2020 – this deal places Sunseeker at the crest of a massive boatbuying wave in China.