Major financial maneuvers at the Leopard Yard. Background and history

Pardo-38
The Pardo 38 in the roadstead

Major financial maneuvers at Cantiere del Pardo, known for the Grand Soleil brands for sailing and Pardo Yachts for powerboats. Private equity fund Wise Equity SGR will acquire 60 percent of the brand’s shares.

There had been talk for several months about changing the majority shareholder of the Forlì shipyard, but now we are really at the end of the negotiation.

Financial maneuvers underway, but Plane and Servidati remain

Fabio Planamente and Luigi “Gigi” Servidati, the company’s two longtime managers had become the majority shareholders in 2018 with a management buyout and a €5 million capital increase.

They will now remain in the shipyard’s shareholder base with 40 percent of the shares while retaining their positions (Servidati will serve as chairman of the board, Planamente as CEO), but in fact Wise Equity has secured control of the group and its brands.

The shipyard’s major maneuvers, top management assures, are to strengthen capital and bring order to the rampant development of the shipyard, which has grown from less than 4 million to 50 million euros in sales in recent years.

THE HISTORY OF THE PARDO SHIPYARD

Cantiere del Pardo is one of the most famous brands, in Italy and internationally, in the 30- to 60-foot cruising boat segment, and alliances with funds recur in its history.

Giuseppe Giuliani Ricci (now in Solaris) founded it in 1973, leading it to success with legendary sail models. Still in 2015 the company’s only brand was Grand Soleil: Planamente and Servidati made their mark by making “breakthrough” choices, such as the birth of the new Pardo Yachts motor brand. The results are in: today, of Cantiere del Pardo’s 50 million turnover, 80 percent is generated by powerboats and 20 percent by sailboats. The ebitda (that is, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) generated is 7 million.

Recently, Cantiere del Pardo acquired the U.S. powerboat brand Van Dutch-a deal that could increase sales by 20 to 30 million euros and activate important synergies for the U.S. market.

Ghego Saggini

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