As Discovery Yachts exceeds its crowd funding expectations, the company has confirmed it is considering an offer to buy Oyster.
The Discovery Group closed its crowd funding early in February having raised £2.2m – the initial target was between £750,000 and £1.5m – from around 500 investors.
“We were overfunded dramatically,” said Discovery Group CEO Sean Langdon. “It’s great for us as we now have about 500 new investors in the company who are all brand ambassadors.”
He added: “We mailed out the offer to our existing customer database and were in danger of never going live to the general public as we had so much support.
“We had to go live a week early and shut it down quickly.”
The money raised from the crowd funding will be used to develop a new 60ft catamaran for the Bluewater range and for the company’s flagship superyacht, the Britannia 74.
This will be a 74ft traditional style sloop that will be marketed for both private and syndicate ownership.
The Bluewater 60, like the Bluewater 50, has been designed by Bill Dixon.
Additional funds raised from the crowd funding will be used to make sure the company is resilient and any interest in Oyster will not affect existing plans, confirmed Mr Langdon.
“We’re looking at three sites to expand and relocate to in the next three to five years.
“We would be crazy not to look at the purchasing of Oyster and are investigating every avenue that comes with it,” he said. “We’re looking at it separately to our existing plans.”
He added: “We have successfully turned around two businesses in less than a year and we are ready for another. We have a robust financial position and are actively looking for opportunities to grow the group of companies in our portfolio.”
Back on schedule
With nine boats currently in build and an order book of 15 yachts, the company has already taken on 25 workers who were laid off by Oyster with plans to take on the same number again by the end of March in order to bring the boatbuilding back on schedule.
“We’ve benefitted by being able to take on a lot of skills however there is only one pool of skilled workforce which is inherently a problem. You don’t usually see the industry turning a corner all at the same time.”
Mr Langdon added: “In April 2017 when we first launched the Discovery Group, I stood in front of 35 skilled craftsmen. In January 2018, we had 111 and are planning to have 150 by Easter and 200 by September.
“Due to our current orderbook, we will be expanding our production facilities to accommodate the build of the Bluewater 50 and 60 catamarans that have been ordered.
“Everything is going in the right direction; it’s the right product at the right time.”
In addition, the company is keen to discuss joining forces with other smaller companies who may wish to combine buying power and marketing.
“If you’re not the enemy you should be our friend,” said Mr Langdon. “We’re very keen to work with anybody who wants to work with us. The marine industry is very small and it’s only going to work if everyone works together.”
* Boating Business understands that Sunseeker International is also keen to buy Oyster Yachts’ facilities and take on the staff but an offer has been refused by KPMG. At the time of writing no-one from Sunseeker was available to comment.
via Boating Business | Discovery Group considers an offer for Oyster.