GROUPE BENETEAU TO INVEST €60M
IN DREAM YACHT CHARTER
Takeover deal will underpin DYC’s position as leading player in recreational yacht rental sector; 465 new yachts to be ordered
Following the recent investment by Groupe Beneteau and Czech financial group PPF to acquire an 87% majority stake in Dream Yacht Charter (DYC), the new shareholders plan to invest €60m in the company to strengthen its international market position.
The takeover deal is set to be completed on September 30, 2021. The remaining 13% is held by the French fund Next Stage, Fountaine-Pajot, and DYC founder and president Loïc Bonnet.
In terms of how the deal came about, Bonnet told IBI: “Groupe Beneteau approached Dream Yacht Charter.” He added: “The new shareholders enable the Dream Yacht group to enhance its equity capital and develop its leading position in the recreational yacht rental sector. DYC Group will continue its core offer of being a multi-brand rental company and its historic relationship with the French shipyards.”
DYC has ordered 265 units for the next two years with this new fleet comprised of 70% catamarans and 30% monohulls from Groupe Beneteau, Fountaine-Pajot, Dufour and Bali.
“Sales are very buoyant with 45% of units sold already for 2022,” added Bonnet. “The new fleet will be based mainly in the Caribbean and in the Mediterranean, where the rental activity provides great financial returns for customers who have signed a charter management contract with us.”
DYC offers three charter management programmes guaranteeing a financial advantage on boat ownership.
With regards to re-establishing operations after the pandemic, 2021 has seen a strong return to tourism as travel entry requirements become clearer. In August 2021, the DYC group exceeded the turnover for yacht rental recorded for the same period in 2019.
Bonnet remarked: “As the pandemic hit the world, Dream Yacht Group revised its strategy and focused on serving key source markets who wanted to sail closer to home by increasing fleets and opening new bases. We will continue to develop close proximity to our customers, supporting those who wish for a more sustainable way of travel.
“In Europe, the fleet was increased by 15% to meet demand. In the USA, the fleet has been increased in the Bahamas and new bases were opened in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and in Key West, Florida. There was demand for Mexico sailing and the base was developed in La Paz, Baja California.
“The desire to curate a unique, personalised experience has led to new customers seeking the ultimate sailing experience. Our fleet of crewed yachts has seen 75% growth compared to 2019, particularly in the Caribbean and Bahamas.”
Bonnet explained at the Cannes Yachting Festival that bases had been shut in the British Virgin Islands and transferred to the US Virgin Islands which involved the movement of some 70 boats. New bases were also opened in Key West, Florida, and Rhode Island, and the Bahamas fleet was increased by some 50%. Currently, there are some 49 bases, mainly in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Bonnet described the new Key West bases as being “very successful” and it is the intention to reopen the BVI bases in the future.
“Pre-Covid the fleet totaled some 1,050 boats and now it stands at around 980, a drop of 12.5%,” he said. “During the Covid period, we sold mostly the older boats that were aged more than five years. The average age of the fleet is now lower and back on track. By the end of 2022 the fleet will be between 920 and 980 and through 2023 and 2024 will return to 1,000 units or more, so we will return to the 2019 fleet total by early 2024.”
DYC has ordered 265 boats to be delivered through the next two years and a further 200 will be ready for delivery in 2024.