Sunseeker International Bought By FL Partners

By B. Roberts

Dublin based FL Partners have bought a majority stake in Sunseeker International, providing the widely respected luxury yachting organisation with £25 million in new capital.

FL Partners, owners of the Racing Post, have provided £25 million in new capital to Sunseeker, whose management have also co-invested with FL. This new capital follows on from a period of significant capital investment as the Company invested £40m plus in expanding its manufacturing facilities and product range in Poole to deliver yachts of up to 40m in length, with plans and capacity to expand to 50m yachts.

Co-founder Robert Braithwaite remains the largest single shareholder outside of FL Partners, and will be President and non-executive Chairman of Sunseeker International (Holdings) Limited. Stewart McIntyre, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed Managing Director. Joining the board with Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes of FL will be Andy Macfie of Souter Investments LLP; Souter Investments is transport magnate Brian Souter's personal investment vehicle.

Robert Braithwaite CBE said: "I am delighted to welcome Neill and Peter to the Sunseeker board as my partners. The combination of significant new equity capital together with our existing market-leading positions is a compelling one; Sunseeker will continue to capture the imagination of its customers in all segments of the market and will have a very exciting future."

Neill Hughes of FL Partners said: "We are delighted to be investing in one of the strongest global yacht businesses alongside Robert and the management team, and believe that Sunseeker's geographic reach, its fantastic brand and its continued new boat development programme positions the business for a very exciting future over the coming years."

Stewart McIntyre added: "Whilst we continue to operate in a recovering market place, Sunseeker is one of the few luxury yacht manufacturers which has maintained consistent sales revenue in recent years, itself a reflection of the global standing of the business, its products and the strength of its brand. Our products are in strong demand throughout the world, with few build slots available in FY11 while FY12 is filling up fast. The new investors - working together with the existing management team at Sunseeker - are dedicated to continued success through innovation, and the additional capital will ensure that Sunseeker uniquely amongst its peers has a strong platform for further growth."

The new investors have also refinanced Sunseeker’s current debt with a long term package provided by Macquarie Bank and Haymarket Financial.

By B. Roberts