Chinese corporations are exercising business savvy and finding investment in Western-based superyacht companies is beneficial in light of a yuan depreciation.
Recent acquisitions of foreign superyacht companies has been well timed after uncertainty cast by the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential promise to levy a 45% tariff on Chinese imports to the U.S. which will cause economic upheaval to China’s trade policy.
Currently, demand for superyachts within China and across southeast Asia is low in comparison to global uptake, however the potential for yachting to take off in China is unprecedented.
Round up of Chinese acquisitions within the superyacht industry
Last month, Camper & Nicholsons’ majority stakeholder, Colosseum Services scored a financial windfall with a deal made with the Lai Sun Development Company Limited, a member of the Lai Sun Group.
Colosseum Services scooped up Campers for just €1 million in 2014 after the Rodrigez Group went into liquidation, and in a turn of fortune have now signed a 49.9% share of equity over to Lai Sun for €13.1 million.
Two representatives from Lai Sun Development Company Limited are now on the Board of Directors – Dr. Peter Lam has been appointed as Chairman and Lester Lam as a Director.
Both men have excellent Asian business expertise; Dr Lam is the Chairman of both Lai Sun Group and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, as well as an ex officio member of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Mr Lam is CEO of Lai Fung Holdings Limited, a Lai Sun Group company whose principal business is property development and investment in China.
In 2013, Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group bought UK-based Sunseeker after they experienced company losses of £9 million in 2009, and 2012 saw Italian-based Ferretti Group sell a 75% share to Weichai Group, an automobile and equipment manufacturing conglomerate for €374 million.
Dalian Wanda’s purchase is further strengthened by the construction on China’s north-eastern coast in the Shandong province of Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis with Wanda Studios Qingdao offering the film and entertainment industry a world-class complex with sound stages, backlots, theatres, production facilities and the Wanda Qingdao International Film Festival.
Scheduled to be fully operational by 2017, visitors will also find a theme park, indoor ice rink, retail shopping, 4-5 star hotels and waterfront restaurants set alongside a 300-berth yacht marina.
Editors Update: The $8 billion project Oriental Movie Metropolis opened in Qingdao in April 2018. More information here about the opening of Wanda’s film and production hub.
Huge potential for Chinese superyacht industry
There is huge potential for yachting in China and expansion in the greater southeast Asia region with 594 billionaires in mainland China alone (stat: Hurun Report 2016).
As well as the four mega-hubs for HNW residents – Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou – the forecasted surge in high-income consumers in smaller cities will be watched closely by luxury suppliers and the yachting industry over the next 5-10 years.
Expect exceptional future growth and tourism in port cities Qingdao and Ningbo, as well as more demand for diversified spending in Tianjin, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Suzhou, Chengdu, Wenzhou, Nanjing, Foshan, Changsha, Wuhan, Wuxi, Jinan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Zhuhai and Shaoxing.
Yacht orders for Asia
Slowly, Asian interest in larger vessels is expanding beyond smaller yachts in the 10 to 25-metre range that clients can command themselves.
- Bennetti Asia says of 16 superyachts sold in the past 5 years, 10 of them have gone to Chinese clients
- Burgess Asia sold 60-metre Amels Event in November 2015
- Royal Huisman announced at Monaco Yacht Show 2016 that an order for an 81-metre schooner was destined for Asia
- Chinese shipyard HeySea Yachts, based in Jiangmen, Guangdong, are building the CEO of the China Cup International Regatta the 40-metre Vista Catamaran 130.
It seems the young superyacht industry in China is paving the path for the future.