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Monday, May 29, 2017

TURNING SWORDS INTO SUPERYACHTS - GOING BOTH WAYS TO CROSS THE EAST/WEST DIVIDE

Posted to THE BUSINESS OF SUPERYACHTS - BRANSOM BEAN (by on October 19, 2009

WHERE THERE IS CONFUSION, SOME SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE BISMARCK WAS BUILT

 
With last week’s announcement of a “long-term close strategic partnership,” very publicly held Thyssen Krupp AG (“TK”)  www.thyssenkrupp.com and specifically its Marine Systems www.thyssenkrupp-marinesystems.com  continues its “reorganisation” out of superyachts while privately held Abu Dhabi MAR Group (“ADM”) www.abudhabimargroup.com seems to be wading in happily with both feet.
 
ADM Group's order book which reportedly exceeds €1 billion and should now only get better while some analysts somewhat ungraciously say that this deal will help TK, “jettison its biggest business problems.”  After regulatory approvals AMD gets 80% in Blohm and Voss Shipyards, Blohm and Voss Repair, and Blohm and Voss Industries.
 
Actually, it’s all a bit of an anti-climax, as almost everyone was expecting it after ADM took Nobiskrug off TK’s hands last summer.
 
Nonetheless, Ahmad Darwish Al Mara, chairman of ADM Group, was quoted, “The strategic partnership with ThyssenKrupp presents a compelling opportunity for Abu Dhabi MAR Group to position the group as world leader in naval and megayacht building. The joint shipbuilding group will capitalise on our combined expertise and the commitment to deliver the highest technological standards for our future customers.”
 
Part of the deal also involves the two in a fifty/fifty joint venture building Men-of-War of the surface kind. (As a former US Submariner, I tend to annoy my surface colleagues - “Skimmers” - by reminding them that in fact there are only two types of vessels at sea, Submarines and targets.)  In its press release, TK carefully reminded that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, “Will retain a lead role and the know-how in all projects with the German Navy and the NATO partners.”
 
It’s all pretty fast work for ADM. 
 
Since its debut at the 2008 Monaco Yacht Show, ADM already had French builder CMN www.cmnyacht.com in its stables along with Nobiskrug. 
 
But there’s even more synergy with things Naval, AMD also made superyacht news with the conversion of two former Dutch S-class frigates into 25+ knot superyachts with their “SWIFT 141” and “SWIFT 135” www.superyachttimes.com/editorial/14/article/id/2178  www.superyachttimes.com/yachts/details/2853 . By the way, the units of length associated with the “141’ and “135” are metres, NOT feet. 
 
No tiny, lo-tech welding job this - their new superstructures are all composite, keeping them light, fast and with a healthy meta centric height – presumably Zero-speed stabilisers with do the rest. Pirates take note - where are those 4,200 round per minute Goalkeeper CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) they were built with?
 
 
AND IT CUTS BOTH WAYS
 
Going the other way Dutch Icon Yachts www.iconyachts.eu and UAE headquartered superyacht builder Gulf Craft www.gulfcraftinc.com may also soon begin collaborating.
 
Under a proposed agreement, also announced last week, Gulf Craft becomes a sales and service representative for Icon in the Middle East while Icon provides engineering consultation among other things.
 
Interestingly, in the announcement Icon said it would give more details about its new designs AT THE SAUDI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW in Jeddah www.saudiboat.com which will of course make it old news at FLIBS (Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show) which opens next week.
  
And on the same day, Sunseeker Middle East LLC www.sunseekerme.com , the UAE distributor for British builder of luxury boats up to 46 metres Sunseeker www.sunseeker.com , announced major expansion plans.
 
 
AND WHERE WILL THEY PUT THEM ALL?
 
Dubai’s Nakheel www.nakheel.com  announced “major construction activity” on its The World project will begin second quarter of next year on as many as 20 islands according to today’s EMIRATES BUSINESS.
 
Go East, young man.
 
-end-

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