Oy Nautor, Finland's premier boatbuilder and builder of the renowned Swan range of luxury sailing yachts, has aquired UK, Gosport-based boatbuilder Camper and Nicholsons (Yachts) for an undisclosed sum.
Oy Nautor, Finland’s premier boatbuilder and builder of the renowned Swan range of luxury sailing yachts, has aquired UK, Gosport-based boatbuilder Camper and Nicholsons (Yachts) for an undisclosed sum.
Oy Nautor’s newly created subsidiary Nautor Swan International secured the assets and freehold of the UK yard, which is one of the world’s oldest and most respected names in yacht building. C&N has been building yachts at its Gosport facility since 1782. That facility will now be run by commecial director Pat Lilley. It will continue as a boatbuilder, says Nautor, and will be used for servicing Nautor’s Swan yachts. C&N Yachts’ 115-strong workforce will remain at Gosport.
Lilley told IBI: “It’s great news for everyone involved. The key at first will be to get the enthusiasm back into the workforce. But it’s too early yet to talk about plans.”
The deal, to be officially announced on Monday, secures the future of C&N Yachts three months after its parent company, shipbuilder Cammell Laird Group, went into receivership following a shortfall of orders. C&N Yachts’ sister refit and repair operation in Gibraltar avoided closure in May after a management buy-out.
Peter Morton, chairman of C&N Yachts, had reached an agreement in May with the receivers of the Cammell Laird Group, to purchase all shares in the Gosport boatbuilder. A spokesman for the company had said then that the yard’s order books looked healthy with the yard set to take delivery of a 120ft Ed Dubois hull from Holland.
As well building its own boats, C&N Yachts had been one of a number of contractors used by Oyster Yachts, a major competitor of Nautor’s, and has recently been fitting out a new Oyster 62, due for launch soon. A spokesperson from Oyster told IBI: “We are in current negotiations with Nautor about the completion of a second yacht, an Oyster 66, which will either be completed at Gosport or moved to another facility, possibly Southampton Yacht Services (SYS).” Oyster added that it has no plans for any more Oysters to go to Gosport.
Located in Pietarsaari, 500km north of Helsinki, Nautor builds from 40-112ft. The company was bought in 1998 by a consortium of private investors led by former Swan buyer Leonardo Ferragamo, the Italian businessman best-known for the fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo that bears his name. Prior to that the company was owned by Finnish forest products giant UPM Kymmene. The company builds around 35-40 boats a year.