Oyster Marine Acquired by HTP Investments

By Ben Roberts

Award winning UK yacht builder Oyster Marine Ltd has today been acquired by the Dutch investment company HTP Investments BV (HTP) for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition includes the Oyster Group companies Oyster Marine Ltd, Oyster Brokerage Ltd and Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.

Founded in 1973, Oyster has a worldwide reputation for its luxury, blue water cruising yachts, which are renowned for their quality and performance. The company is recognised throughout the sailing world for its commitment to providing owners with outstanding levels of customer service and after sales support and has twice been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise.

A recent press release from the company stated “HTP acquired Oyster by using the exclusive funds of the partners Wim de Pundert and Klaas Meertens and is therefore not subject to any restrictions with respect to the amount invested and the period over which the investment is held. HTP expands the activities of its portfolio companies both through organic growth and further acquisitions, supporting the management in strategic decision making and any required reorganisation of the firm's financial structure.

Klaas Meertens, Managing Partner of HTP Investments said, "As investors, we are delighted to have the opportunity to add such a strong and prestigious British brand to our select portfolio of companies and have every confidence in Oyster's CEO, David Tydeman and the existing management team to take the business forward. For myself and Wim, this is a personal acquisition and a long term investment. We look forward to working with David and the team to develop Oyster's strategy for the future and build on the success the whole team at Oyster has achieved over the last three years."

Commenting on the transaction, Oyster CEO David Tydeman said, "This is a fantastic opportunity for Oyster, our team of loyal staff and suppliers. HTP Investment's acquisition is funded by the private funds of its two partners and means that Oyster can look forward to a period of long term stability, doing what we do best – building great sailing yachts."

Oyster will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2013 and plans are already well advanced for a memorable event to mark the occasion. On 6 January 2013 a fleet of 30 Oysters will depart the Caribbean on the first ever, exclusive world rally for Oyster owners, which will be a really unique event that few, if any, other yacht builders could emulate.

Oyster was advised on the transaction by Stephen Craik and Khush Purewal of KPMG Corporate Finance. Commenting on the transaction, Stephen Craik said, "Oyster is one of the world's leading luxury brands synonymous with prestige and high quality. HTP provides the company with a long term partner who can ensure the further development of the business and the brand".

The current Oyster fleet includes twelve modern designs ranging from the Oyster 46 to the magnificent superyachts, the Oyster 100 and Oyster 125 by Dubois. Two of the newest Oysters on the water, the Oyster 625 and Oyster 100 by Dubois have received much acclaim from customers and the yachting media. The company has also had a very strong start to 2012 with around £10m of contracts signed in January.

By Ben Roberts
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