MarineMax, Inc. (NYSE: HZO) announced that it has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of the Fraser Yachts Group (Fraser) from the Italian-based Azimut/Benetti Group. Fraser is consistently ranked as a leading superyacht brokerage and largest luxury yacht services company in the world. The transaction is expected to be accretive in its first full year.
Additionally, MarineMax strengthened its relationship with the Azimut/Benetti Group, by expanding with Benetti Yachts, through a multiyear dealership agreement, to become its exclusive dealer for the Benetti Class of yachts in North America.
Fraser, founded in 1947, is based in Monaco and operates through 20 offices around the world with over 160 team members. Its strong presence in Monaco and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., two prominent yachting epicenters, provides the organization with a strong base from which to operate and provide its services world-wide. The entire team of Fraser is remaining in place and will continue to operate and manage its activities. Additionally, current directors, Paolo Vitelli and Roberto Giorgi, will remain with Fraser in an advisory capacity.
Azimut, founded in 1969 by Paolo Vitelli, acquired Benetti in 1985. MarineMax has represented the Azimut brand in the United States since 2006, growing that brand to rank first in market share among current yacht builders.
"The acquisition of Fraser is significant for MarineMax as it dramatically increases our presence and strength in the strategically important superyacht category. Second, it expands our international capabilities and footprint, unlocking other potential future opportunities," W. Brett McGill, Chief Executive Officer and President of MarineMax, Inc., said. "We are very excited about adding Fraser and its team to MarineMax. Fraser is clearly the leader in the services it offers and we intend that it will operate in the future as it has historically. We are happy that Paolo and Roberto will remain with Fraser as their years of experience are invaluable.”
“We are also very excited to add the Benetti Class of yachts to our luxury motoryacht offering. The history and product of Benetti separates the brand from other yachts and will allow for a great migration for many of our customers who are seeking larger and more luxurious yachts,” McGill added.
“MarineMax has been a valued partner of the Group. MarineMax’s unrivaled success through many years makes it the best possible owner of Fraser for the future," Paolo Vitelli, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Azimut/Benetti Group said. "Strategically, becoming independent from the Group will favor the development of the commercial relationship of Fraser around the world.”
The acquisition is subject to the customary completion of certain legal requirements in Europe and is currently expected to be completed in stages over the next few weeks.
MarineMax said it will provide an update to its fiscal 2019 guidance in its June quarter 2019 earnings release.