William Malcolm

PPF Launches Joint Venture With Groupe Beneteau

PPF Group announced the formation of a joint venture with Groupe Beneteau, a traditional French manufacturer of smaller recreational craft and sailboats, to build a new global leader in the boat rental segment. The transaction consists of the acquisition of controlling interests in Dream Yacht Charter and Navigare Yachting.

The joint venture, in which PPF will have 59% and Beneteau 41% of the shares, will combine the assets of number one (Dream Yacht) and number four (Navigare) in this market segment, which together in 2019 had sales in excess of 200 million euros. Both charter companies and their subsidiaries, including the fast-growing online ordering platform (SamBoat), operate the world’s largest fleet of around 1,200 sailboats.

PPF and Beneteau expect the settlement of the transaction to take place by the end of September, once the usual regulatory and legal conditions have been met.

The creation of the PPF-Beneteau joint venture means consolidating a large part of the otherwise fragmented global recreational craft rental market, which had total revenues of around € 1 billion a year in the run-up to the coronavirus pandemic. The joint venture will have the strongest position especially in the Caribbean and in other exotic destinations (Seychelles, French Polynesia). In total, it will have bases in more than fifty berths around the world, from the Mediterranean to Asia to the Pacific.

The structured transaction was carried out through the joint acquisition of an 87% stake in Dream Yacht and its subsidiaries by the PPF Group and Beneteau. The founder of Loic Bonnet remains a minority shareholder in Dream Yacht. The joint venture between the PPF and Beneteau groups will also acquire a 50% stake in Navigare, which PPF recently bought from a company controlled by Navigare Yachting co-founder Jesper Rönngard. The PPF-Beneteau partnership also has call options for the acquisition of 100% of Navigare.

PPF Group invests in a number of industries, from financial services to telecommunications, media, biotechnology, real estate to engineering. In addition to the Czech Republic in 24 other countries on three continents – in Europe, Asia and North America.

In addition to Cetin and O2, the group includes, among others, Home Credit, PPF Banka, Air Bank, Benxy with the Zonky brand, Cetin, PPF Real Estate, biotechnology Sotio, and Škoda Transportation.

Last year, the PPF Group reported a loss of EUR 291 million (CZK 7.42 billion), while a year earlier it had a net profit of EUR 1.005 billion (CZK 25.5 billion). Last year, it fell into the red for the first time in its thirty-year history.

Renata Kellnerová, the widow of the owner Petr Kellner, who died at the end of March in a helicopter crash in Alaska, became the owner of the PPF group in May.