Momentous turning point for Princess Yachts, the UK’s largest luxury boatbuilder, that has officially announced its acquisition by KPS Capital Partners, a New York-based private firm which has a long history in making controlling equity investments in manufacturing and industrial companies between North America and Europe, with more than $14.4 billion of assets under its management.
This definitive agreement will lead KPS Capital Partners to acquire a controlling equity interest in the historic company which, founded in 1965, has been owned by the private equity group L Catterto since 2002. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and will see existing shareholders retain ownership of the company.
The announcement comes after the company unveiled its expansion plans just last year, which also include the construction of a new facility in Devonport; an absolutely strategic operation then, as Princess itself confirms: “it iwll help support these plans and reinforce the unique national and international marine capabilities that reside in Plymouth and the wider SouthWest region”.
“We are excited to make this significant investment in Princess Yachts – says Ryan Harrison, a partner of KPS Mid-Cap Investments – Princess is a leading company in the luxury global yachting industry with an iconic brand grounded in the British tradition, a remarkable and growing product range, and world-wide reputation for its superyachts quality and innovation.
KPS’ investment will accelerate Princess’ growth trajectory and fund numerous investments for its future. We look forward to working with Princess’ existing stockholders, Chief Executive Officer, Antony Sheriff, the senior leadership team, and the talented employee base at Princess Yachts”.
Antony Sheriff, Chief Executive Officer of Princess Yachts, adds: “We are thrilled to partner with KPS for this exciting new chapter for Princess Yachts. KPS and the Princess Yachts team are deeply committed to investing in the Company’s future while continuing to further strengthen our portfolio of best-in-class motor yachts.
With a current order book nearing a record $1 billion and many model lines sold into 2025, we have never been in a stronger commercial position. Together with KPS’ tremendous track record of manufacturing excellence and investing in leading brands, we are now positioned to take Princess Yachts to the next level of industry leadership in quality and innovation. Under KPS’ ownership, we will accelerate a range of growth and operational initiatives to build upon our long and successful history.”
The KPS Group is known for the scale of its investments, such as the acquisition of Brunswick Corporation’s Fitness Equipment Company and Life Fitness brand for $490 million, or TaylorMade Golf, which was purchased by Adidas in 2017 for $425 million and resold four years later to South Korean private equity firm Centroid Investment Partners for $1.7 billion.
It goes without saying that, at a time in history marked by great uncertainty, this acquisition lays a solid foundation for the future of Princess Yachts, which will be able to quickly return to meeting the needs of its customers from around the world.