Simpson Marine statement on potential Sanlorenzo acquisition
Simpson Marine has issued a statement about its proposed acquisition by Sanlorenzo, which it has represented in Asia since 2015.
Mike Simpson, founder and Managing Director of Simpson Marine
The following is based on a statement issued by Simpson Marine:
As Simpson Marine heads towards the milestone of 40 years of business operations in Asia, the company is now pursuing a new strategic direction, with Mike Simpson actively preparing for his well-deserved retirement while ensuring the company’s passage into the coming decades of success and expansion.
Established in 1984 in Hong Kong by Mike Simpson and progressively expanding over Asia with 11 offices in seven markets including Hong Kong (HQ), mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore (SEA HQ), Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, Simpson Marine has become synonymous with the highest standards of business practices in the yachting industry in Asia-Pacific.
With over 3,500 yachts sold in Asia, a team of 140 professionals and an integrated business model including sales of new yachts and superyachts, yacht brokerage, charter, yacht management, service, water toys and tenders along with a new sailing academy in Thailand, Simpson Marine Group has become the reference for yachting across the region. Simpson Marine often serves as an exemplary case study to regional governments seeking advice and guidance in their maritime expansion.
Over the years, Simpson Marine has represented some of the world’s leading yachting brands, with its present portfolio including Sanlorenzo, Bluegame, Beneteau, Lagoon, Fairline, Aquila and Highfield. The Simpson Marine team played a crucial role in establishing the Sanlorenzo brand in Asia after a strategic portfolio evolution from Azimut to Sanlorenzo back in 2015.
Since then, Simpson Marine’s Sanlorenzo Asia division has welcomed nearly 70 Sanlorenzo yachts and superyachts of all sizes and ranges into Asia. The 10 arrivals in February and March 2023 alone are a testament to the growing success of the brand within Asia.
Simpson Marine has about 140 employees across Asia
The Asian market has been extremely receptive to Sanlorenzo’s brand values and world-class offering of unique, bespoke and custom-built yachts. Many other factors have had strong appeal to local clientele, including the shipyard’s commitment to sustainable yachting through its constant research into green propulsion and sustainable materials, and its intrinsic commitment to art.
With an understanding of the tremendous potential of yachting in the Asia-Pacific, Sanlorenzo is formally considering a strategic investment into Simpson Marine Group, which would further strengthen its presence and footprint in the region.
A non-binding MOU between Mike Simpson, Simpson Marine founder and Managing Director, and Massimo Perotti, Sanlorenzo SpA Chairman, was signed in early April 2023. A further study on this potential investment is currently ongoing and will be completed over the next few months.
The long relationship between Mike Simpson and Massimo Perotti dates to 1986 when Simpson Marine took on the dealership of Azimut in Asia. At the time Perotti was working for Azimut in Italy under the leadership of its then-Chairman Paolo Vitelli and eventually became Managing Director of the Azimut Group. He collaborated closely with Mike on the growth of Azimut in Asia through Simpson Marine until leaving Azimut in 2004.
In 2005, Perotti acquired Sanlorenzo from Giovanni Jannetti and since then he has led the company through a dramatic transformation from €40 million of revenue with 75 employees to become a leading yacht and superyacht builder with more than 700 employees and nearly €1 billion of revenue logged for the coming year.
Massimo Perotti, Chairman of Sanlorenzo
Having focused on the company evolution in its first 10 years, Perotti approached Mike Simpson in early 2014 regarding a potential representation of Sanlorenzo in Asia by Simpson Marine. This meant a strategic change of Simpson Marine’s brand portfolio and de facto parting ways with their historic partner, the Azimut-Benetti Group.
Both Sanlorenzo and Simpson Marine were also linked by a strategic investment from the Chinese investor Sundiro, which took a minority stake at Sanlorenzo and Simpson Marine and was due to take a majority stake of Simpson Marine in pursuit of their vision of exponential growth of yachting operations (sales, services and infrastructure) in China and Asia.
The Sundiro investment into Simpson Marine wasn’t completed due to external reasons, and Sanlorenzo later bought back their shares from Sundiro in 2019. Despite this turn of events, the link between Simpson Marine and Sanlorenzo has become a strong one and this relationship has resulted in the spectacular success of the Sanlorenzo brand in Asia, with the region accounting for up to 23 per cent of the shipyard’s revenues in the past years.
Simpson Marine’s priority is always its customers. While the discussions between the companies are underway, it is business as usual and Simpson Marine’s engagement with all partner shipyards remains strong.
Likewise, its commitment to the customers and yacht owners purchasing yachts of all brands remains unchanged. All Simpson Marine customers can be guaranteed of the company’s standard market-leading service they are accustomed to. Both parties will continue to communicate as discussions progress.