French multihull boatyard Marsaudon Composites has been acquired by Damien Cailliau and Frédéric Blandin – two professionals with a strong sailing background and solid experience in business management. Founder Samuel Marsaudon and his wife Marie decided to hand over the business to the new owners in January.
“We got to a stage where we no longer felt able to further develop a company of this size,” says Sam Marsaudon. “It needs very specific knowledge when it comes to management, strategy, marketing, organisation and human resources, that we don't have.
“It's for this reason that we have decided to sell our boatyard to Damien and Frédéric. Because they have the skills to bring it to its full potential and because they are two flesh and blood people and not an investment group...”
Brittany-based Marsaudon has been manufacturing catamarans and sub-contracting production of composite parts since 1999. The company, which is best-known for the TS range of multihulls, generated sales of around €5.5m in 2017 and employs some 50 people.
Damien Cailliau is the principal shareholder and takes over from Sam as CEO and in leading the boatyard. A trained engineer who has lived in the US, his solid industrial experience was built by managing big aeronautical projects and by then advising managers in small-to-medium size companies on how to adjust their growth strategy and organisation.
Joint shareholder Frédéric Blandin has taken the role of director of marketing, sales and HR. He hails from a sailing family, is himself a sailor and who has lived his passion for the ocean from his earliest days.
“At Marsaudon Composites we have found a unique brand position and a DNA born from its origins in offshore racing,” says Damien Cailliau on the subject of the envisaged strategic approach from 2018 to 2020.
“The range of TS catamarans, which have seen a growing success for a number of years, is a perfect blend of competitive sailing and offshore cruising. We want to continue this growth without sacrificing the other essential activity which gives balance to the boatyard: the sub-contracted manufacture of white label boats and large composite parts.”
The first objective for the boatyard over the next three years is to grow the production facilities off the back of the recent success of the TS catamaran range. The goal is to "anchor the brand in the sailing landscape", says the company in a statement. The Marsaudon Composites team will therefore push the TS brand further in the Mediterranean and beyond into international markets.
Marsaudon Composites builds catamarans for inshore and offshore cruising from 35ft-50ft and is based at a 7,000sq m facility in Lorient.