Published: Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Mike Fulton

Southampton’s Daily Echo newspaper confirmed on the evening of 27 August that the deal to buy the Poole-based shipbuilder from the Irish private equity firm FL Partners had finally been completed.

It was reported earlier this year that China-based Dalian Wanda Group paid £320 million for a 91.81 percent stake in Sunseeker with current management holding the remainder.

Sunseeker Sale Finally Completed

Dalian Wanda, China’s largest commercial property and entertainment conglomerate, had been looking to invest in the UK and had Sunseeker well within is sights.

As previously reported, the day-to-day running of Sunseeker, in Poole, will be unaffected and all the current staff will keep their jobs. Founder Robert Braithwaite will remain as the Group President backed by his current management team.

Sunseeker’s managing director, Stewart McIntyre, confirmed the deals completion and reiterated that Sunseeker would remain a British company, headquartered in Poole, and maintaining its primary production base there.

He added: “Support from Wanda will be instrumental in enabling Sunseeker to unlock the enormous potential of China’s rapidly-expanding luxury yacht market. It has an outstanding track record of entrepreneurship and commitment to supporting leading global brands. This is an excellent foundation for our next phase of growth.”

Wang Jianlin, Wanda’s chairman, commented: “With the committed support of Wanda, Sunseeker is well-placed to take full advantage of opportunities in China, one of the world’s fastest growing luxury yacht markets. We are confident that this will bring Sunseeker’s business to the next level.”

Poole’s business community have welcomed the move, considering it a vote of confidence for Poole and the Sunseeker workforce.