BY APB Staff on 3 Feb 2021

Italian superyacht megabrand joins list of potential buyers for Perini assets

Palumbo Superyachts, one of the largest superyacht builders of the Mediterranean, has announced its interest in acquiring the assets of Perini Navi, which was recently declared bankrupt in an Italian court. Palumbo Group owns ISA Yachts, Columbus Yachts, Mondomarine, Extra Yachts and Palumbo SY Refit, which operates shipyards in Ancona, Savona, Naples, Marseille and Malta.

“With a view to steady expansion which began years ago and led to the acquisition of important brands and facilities, Palumbo Superyachts intends to verify the conditions to participate in the auction procedure for the acquisition of the Perini Navi brand and production facilities of Viareggio and La Spezia,” the company said in a statement released on February 3.

Palumbo joins the Italian Sea Group in the competition for Perini Navi’s assets, after the Italian Sea Group announced its interest on February 2. The Italian Sea Group said it “aims to carefully assess and verify, once the insolvency assets will be identified, whether the conditions exist for taking part in the competitive auction procedure.”

In its statement, the Italian Sea Group also hinted at the value of the Perini Navi brand, which represented a “strategic interest” for Italy itself.

Italian yachting giants Ferretti Group and Sanlorenzo have also reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Perini Navi’s assets. In the spring of 2020, Sanlorenzo expressed interest in taking over Perini Navi, though the bid was later dropped.

Perini Navi, owned by majority shareholder and Vice Chairman Edoardo Tabacchi, and Chairman Lamberto Tacoli, encountered financial distress in 2020. In May 2020, the company announced that the board of directors decided to restructure the company’s debt to “preserve the company’s operational and business continuity.” Media reports later suggested that a joint venture between Blue Skye Investment Group and Arena Investors, aimed at Italian mid-market turnaround opportunities, was in talks to rescue Perini Navi.

Data from shipping services provider Vessels Value shows 10 yachts on Perini Navi’s order book, including three yachts on spec and seven to be delivered in 2021. Among the yachts under construction at Perini are two for Hong Kong buyers.

Both Sanlorenzo and Ferretti Group have a substantial presence and market share in Hong Kong. Sanlorenzo Asia enjoyed substantial sales into Hong Kong in 2020, adding to its impressive orderbook, and Ferretti Group Asia-Pacific also announced a good year in 2020.

Since its founding in 1983, Perini Navi has become a signature name in the superyacht world for its fleet of sailing superyachts, most notably the Maltese Falcon. In the 2010s, Perini Navi was connected to the Vitruvius brand of explorer superyachts.