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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 5, 2019 3 years ago

Boat retailer buys super-yacht brokerage

Clearwater-based MarineMax had $1.17 billion in sales last year.

Clearwater-based MarineMax, already the largest recreational boat and yacht retailer in the country, is about to get bigger — particularly in the size of some its vessels.

The Clearwater-based firm, with $1.17 billion in sales last year, recently announced it has entered into agreement to acquire Fraser Yachts Group from the Italy-based Azimut Benetti Group. Founded in 1947, Fraser is one of the largest super-yacht brokerages and services companies in the world, according to a MarineMax statement. Based in Monaco, it has 20 offices worldwide — including a large presence in yacht-heavy Fort Lauderdale — and some 160 employees. The Azimut Benetti Group has had a stake in Fraser for 15 years.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“The acquisition of Fraser is significant for MarineMax as it dramatically increases our presence and strength in the strategically important super-yacht category,” MarineMax President and CEO Brett McGill says in a statement. “Second, it expands our international capabilities and footprint, unlocking other potential future opportunities. We are very excited about adding Fraser and its team to MarineMax. Fraser is clearly the leader in the services it offers, and we intend that it will operate in the future as it has historically.”

In addition to a yacht brokerage, Fraser handles yacht chartering, management, crew placement and new-build consultation. Fraser’s top executives will remain in place with the acquisition, the statement adds, and current directors, Paolo Vitelli and Roberto Giorgi, will remain with the firm in an advisory capacity.

Separate to the Fraser acquisition, MarineMax signed a multi-year agreement to become the exclusive dealer for the Benetti Class of yachts in North America. MarineMax has represented the Azimut brand in the United States since 2006, the release states, growing it to rank first in market share among current yacht builders. “The history and product of Benetti separates the brand from other yachts,” McGill says in the statement, “and will allow for a great migration for many of our customers who are seeking larger and more luxurious yachts.”



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