Brian Souter Invests In Sunseeker

Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010

FL Partners Invests Over £25 Million In Sunseeker

FL Partners has acquired a significant majority stake in Sunseeker International, the world’s pre-eminent luxury motor yacht manufacturer securing 2000 jobs.

FL Partners and a number of UK investors, including transport magnate and benefactor Brian Souter. have provided in excess of £25 million of new capital, guaranteeing a bright future for the Sunseeker brand.

They also refinanced Sunseeker’s current debt from Lloyds Banking Group to a five-year syndicate package provided by Macquarie Bank and Haymarket Financial, a new London-based financial institution set up by Tim Flynn and a number of former Goldman Sachs executives. Macquarie Bank and Sunseeker management have also co-invested.

Co-founder Robert Braithwaite remains the largest single shareholder outside of FL Partners and will be non-executive Chairman of Sunseeker International (Holdings) Limited. Stewart McIntyre, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed Managing Director. 

Joining the board will Andy Macfie of Souter Investments Limited. Souter Investments is Brian Souter’s personal investment vehicle and is totally independent of Stagecoach Group.

Neill Hughes of FL Partners said “We are delighted to be investing in one of the strongest global marine businesses, alongside its current shareholders, and believe Sunseeker’s geographical penetration, the strength of its brand and its new boat development programme should position the business for growth over the coming years.”

Brian Souter commented: “I firmly believe that we can still manufacture great products in this country and export them overseas. Sunseeker has a dynamic management team and a unique product range. It is important as a nation that we reduce our dependence on financial services and Sunseeker will join Souter Investment’s growing portfolio of manufacturing businesses.”

Stewart McIntyre said “Whilst this continues to be a difficult and challenging market place, the new investors, together with the team at Sunseeker, is dedicated to success through innovation. The new capital will ensure that Sunseeker has a strong platform for growth. Our products are in demand throughout the world and Sunseeker will continue to be at the forefront of design and product development in the powerboat industry.
“As the company heads towards its 50th anniversary with new capital, new banking facilities and continued development in the shipyards and product range, Sunseeker will continue to capture the imagination of customers in all segments of the market.”

FL Partners is a Dublin based investment boutique set up to acquire businesses in Ireland, the UK and Europe. It was established in September 2006 by Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes, both former senior investment bankers with significant hands-on business experience, who typically operate as executive Co-Chairman in all their investee companies.

To date, FL Partners has managed the acquisition of Kaymed Limited, The Racing Post and ATA Group. FL Partners has also acquired a strategic stake in UTV Media, the operator of a nationwide radio network in Ireland and the ITV franchise in Northern Ireland. FL Partners will continue to invest in today’s value centric market and maintains strong relationships with a number of banking partners.

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