Chinese company buys majority share in Sunseeker

Chinese firm Dalian Wanda Group has paid £320m to buy a massive 92% share of the British boatbuilder Sunseeker

Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group has confirmed that it is buying a majority stake of the British boatbuilder Sunseeker.

The £320m deal will see the Chinese company take a 91.81% share of the privately owned builder, which it says will help it tap into the growing boating industry in China and south-east Asia.

Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin told the BBC the company would stay British-based. He said, “There is no question about it, we are going to keep the jobs in Poole, we will not lay anyone off and we will add capital to Sunseeker. It is our firm belief that the quality of Sunseeker yachts will not be affected at all.”

Confirming the news, Sunseeker MD Stewart McIntyre said that Sunseeker now has the capacity to increase production from 180 yachts a year to 370 but that until the deal is finalised there would be no concrete plans to do so.

Wang Jianlin already owns a Sunseeker Predator 108 so it is possible that he has been interested in investing in the company for some time. In 2011 it was rumoured that a Chinese investment company had been in talks with the British boatbuilder.

The deal between Sunseeker and Dalian Wanda Group is still subject to Chinese regulatory approvals but is expected to be complete by mid-August.

The investment group has also confirmed that it is putting £700m into the development of a riverside hotel at Nine Elms in central London.