If owning a yacht is a status symbol, what does it mean to own or invest in a shipyard? Depending on the yard, there are a number of courses the investors can chart. There are the owners that want to reshape the yard in their vision, and there are investors who just offer a capital infusion and allow the shipyards to continue growing. The final installment in our series examining recent shipyard acquisitions.
Nobiskrug, July 2009
Photo by Hill Robinson, courtesy of Nobiskrug
After more than a century constructing almost anything that floats, from cruise ships to frigates to commercial ships, the last decade has seen Rendsburg, Germany-based shipyard Nobiskrug start and grow its megayacht business.
The yard began expanding in 2008 when it left the ownership of Thyssen-Krupp and then went through three shareholders in 12 months. Dirk Zademack, head of sales and project management, says Abu Dhabi Mar and Privinvest provided a capital increase when it “rescued” the yard in 2009.
“They are not looking for quick money,” Zademack says. “Privinvest have owned [the French yard] CMN for 20 years.”
Over the last five years, orders at Nobiskrug have doubled. Currently, there are two displacement yachts, a 242 foot (74 meter) and a 196 foot (60 meter), and two naval vessels under construction and two 242-foot (74-meter) yachts being refit.
Privinvest provided the capital increase that lead to the purchase of the assets of the former surface division of the HDW shipyard, now known as ADM Kiel, in September 2011. Now, Nobiskrug can offer nearly unlimited production capabilities with a 1,397-foot (426-meter) long graving dock with a 295-foot (90-meter) width.
“Most yachts could be docked in there at a right angle,” Zademack jokes. Although not the more than 328-foot (100-meter) yacht currently under construction; the name and details are strictly confidential however.
In December 2012, Nobiskrug purchased the Lindenau shipyard, also in Kiel. There, Nobiskrug will be able to offer additional refit, repair, and conversion work in addition to yacht, commercial and German Navy clients.
The three yards, located within 30 minutes from each other, will be run as a single company under the same management team, lead by Managing Directors Susanne Wiegand and Holger Kahl. As a single entity, Nobiskrug, ADM Kiel, Lindenau will be able to keep costs lower and have additional flexibility with its workforce.
“Building a yacht requires craftsmanship,” Zademack says. “It’s a long-learning process and a long-term commitment.”
Although Nobiskrug has the experience in many types of ship construction, the yard plans to focus on three product categories: yachts, offshore platforms, and naval vessels.
“We plan on increasing the number of projects over the next years and not expanding the number of business areas,” Zademack explains. “With close to 1,000 employees, we need to think how to structure our abilities.”
Admiral Tecnomar, January 2009
Photo courtesy of Admiral Tecnomar
January 2009 was the start of a new era in the history of Tecnomar, builder of high-speed yachts between 30 to 49 meters. Giovanni Costantino, a former Natuzzi leather executive, purchased the Italian yard, and cleaned house to start fresh.
The yard has been expanding every since.
The design-conscious new owner put a renewed focus on design and construction, and the yard launched four yachts by the end of 2010. The highly technical yard even uses a robot for the faring process of painting one of its yachts.
In 2011, the yard made its first expansion to purchase Admiral, which was known for its steel and aluminum yachts between 32 and 54 meters. At the same time, the yard acquired a private dock that offered space for yacht refits and maintenance.
This year, the yard announced its acquisition of Nuovi Cantieri Apuania (NCA), creating the new Italian Sea Group as well as a more defined plan for the yards.
In a statement Costantino says, “The decision to acquire NCA stands on a meticulous evaluation of structural, economic, and financial values of the company. The widening of the Admiral Tecnomar production capacity will allow us to gather all the opportunities on the market, particularly in the field of vessels [larger than] 50 meters.”
The newest iteration of Tecnomar will include three parts: Admiral Tecnomar, luxury yachts and sailboats; NCA, high-tech offshore and supply vessels; and NCA refit, refit services for ships and yachts.
Costantino plans to keep all 150 workers onboard and invest €8 million into NCA.