A major new partnership has been formed between Australia’s SilverYachts and China Zhongwan Holdings in China and Hong Kong. The partnership comes after China Zhongwan made a multi-million investment to buy an unspecified majority stake in SilverYachts for an undisclosed amount.

This multi-faceted deal draws on the considerable resources that both partners bring to future activities. On the SilverYachts side, there is owner Guido Krass, who is also a green tech entrepreneur and investor, and renowned yacht designer Espen Øino.

China Zhongwan is the second-largest industrial aluminium extrusion products developer and manufacturer in the world and the largest in Asia.

For China Zhongwang, a privately-owned company headquartered in China and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the deal marks its entry into the marine market which is seeing an expanding use of aluminium not only in yachts, but in commercial and naval vessels as well.  A key strategic objective for both parties is to make further inroads in expanding the application of aluminium in the marine sector.

As part of the deal, a new shipyard, larger than the one in Australia, will be opened at an undisclosed location. A source close to the deal told IBI: “This new yard may not only be involved in the building of yachts but also other types of vessels. China represents a major opportunity.”

“The partnership with China Zhongwang marks the start of an exciting new era for SilverYachts,” says Guido Krass, founder of SilverYachts. “SilverYachts is dedicated to building all-aluminium superyachts. Having China Zhongwang on board will allow us to continue to create and build innovative aluminium superyachts for the world market.”

He added: “China Zhongwang’s strong backing will enable us to accelerate our rate of expansion and broaden our market reach. Going forward, SilverYachts has plans to expand its team in Australia as well as in China.”

“Our Silver series of yachts are ground-breaking in design and building philosophy, in the way the volumes are distributed longitudinally rather than vertically, which allows a high length to beam ratio, creating greater efficiencies in terms of performance,” commented Øino. “We look forward to designing the next generation of the Silver series with China Zhongwang, for both the global and the Asian market.”

"We are delighted to join hands with SilverYachts to navigate the high-end marine sector at full speed," Lu Changqing, president and executive director of China Zhongwang, said. "SilverYachts is one of the pioneers in building large-sized, all-aluminium superyachts. It has an international reputation for producing visually-striking, aerodynamic, high-performance, and fuel efficient luxury superyachts, widely known as the 'sports cars of the ocean'. Both companies share the same vision of offering best-in-class products that exceed client expectations. The acquisition is a significant step to advance the Company's aluminium deep-processing strategy to the marine sector, and adds considerably to our international expansion."

In the notice to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange it was stated: “One of the existing strategies of SilverYachts is to establish an additional shipyard in China to build superyachts or commercial vessels customised for the growing Asian market with the support of China Zhongwang. The Western Australian-based shipyard will remain a technological frontrunner, with a new series of larger vessels targeting the upper segment of the international market, such as the 100m (328ft) Silver Global.”

Having built four of the 75m (246ft)-plus initial Silver series with the fourth, Silver Fast, currently available for sale with an asking price of €79.5m, the 85m (279ft) Silver Loft is currently in build for completion next year. Work on a second Loft model is to start soon.

Australian managing director, Dave Woods, will continue to lead SilverYachts’ development after the acquisition, and its day-to-day operations will remain unchanged, while Guido Krass and Espen Øino remain as involved as they were before.