Cantieri di Pisa and Privilege Yard Spa acquired by new owners

Two Italian yacht-builders that have both been in a bankrupt state have recently been acquired by new owners. The two businesses are Cantieri di Pisa and the Privilege superyacht yard located at Civitavecchia, near Rome. The latter also included an uncompleted shell of the 127m (416ft) Project One.

Cantieri di Pisa, a well-established Italian brand, was acquired in 2015 by Mondomarine in Savona. Mondomarine ran into financial troubles in 2017 and was made bankrupt, placing its subsidiary in the same state.

Earlier this year, bids were invited for Cantieri di Pisa’s assets including its build facility and yacht designs with a 60-day deadline and a target bid price set at around €3m. Finnish company Baltic Yachts, which has ambitions to enter the motoryacht sector, proceeded with a bid but was unsuccessful. A spokesman told IBI at METSTRADE that the company is still interested in entering the motoryacht market.

As far as IBI understands, another bid was made by Sea Finance srl, which is a subsidiary of the Yotha.com superyacht charter platform company based in Monaco. They made a successful bid of €2.6m and took over the Cantieri di Pisa assets about 10 days ago. At the same time, 22 workers who left the yard in March 2017 have been reinstated.

During the bidding process, Yotha/Sea Finance told Italian labour organisations that the new management would spend about a month adapting the yard for its future operations, which would include the completion of three yachts that had been left unfinished in the yard for some 18 months. The new owners also plan to bring three yachts to the yard for repair or refit work.

Yotha.com was formed in 2016 by Philippe Bacou, who has a business track record in the service industry and is understood to be the owner of a 40m (131ft)-plus yacht. The charter digital platform was launched in Monaco in May this year and is designed to bring a new approach to this sector. On its website, Yotha says its intention is to: “Make it possible for more owners and clients to live the successful experience of chartering luxury yachts.”

Yotha is the first global online interactive marketplace that offers a direct connection between yacht owners and charterers, charter brokers, captains, lawyers and digital marketing experts. The platform offers a wide variety of yachts and superyachts carefully selected throughout the world and provides bespoke experiences. Yotha works out of offices in Monaco, Geneva, Palm Beach and Hong Kong.

The Civitavecchia yard of Privilege SpA was recently acquired by a private equity firm based in Malta – Royalton Investment. The group operates in yachting, real estate, technology, and healthcare and wellness, with its yachting interests being run through SSH Maritime headquartered in Athens.

Privilege has through its short existence had a troubled history. Its main achievement was the construction of Project One, a 127m yacht that was left standing when the yard went bankrupt. After five attempts to sell the yard and superyacht shell by auction, it was sold in October to Royalton for €6,016,000. Apparently the company had previously acquired the unfinished Project One yacht.

At this stage, it is not known what Royalton/SSH Maritime’s plans for Privilege or the yacht are. SSH provides a range of yacht services including brokerage, new builds, refit, chartering and management through offices in Greece, London, Dubai and elsewhere.

IBI would like to clarify that Privilege Yard SpA is in no way related to French catamaran builder Privilege Marine, which is now owned by Germany’s Hanse Group.