Fairline Boats acquired by Wessex Bristol

Wessex Bristol, specialists in buying luxury brand names with a proven historical record, acquires Fairline Boats from Better Capital

Better Capital has sold Fairline Boats to private equity investor Wessex Bristol for what has been described as “ a modest deferred consideration”.

The Somerset based investment business specialises in buying luxury brand names with a proven historical record. To date most of its investments have been in high end furniture makers, although it already owns the British sportsboat brand Fletcher Boats.

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Ayiaz Ahmed, CEO of Wessex Bristol, said: “We are excited to be adding Fairline to our brand portfolio, building on our successes in the luxury boat market with our iconic Fletcher brand.”

Kevin Dady, who was interim CEO at Fairline, commented: “We have invested a lot in the turnaround of Fairline and are pleased that Wessex Bristol has taken ownership of the company. We wish them, the company and its staff all the best for the future.”

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Ayiaz Ahmed will take over as CEO of Fairline on 29 September.

The deal ends months of speculation about Fairline after a troubled few years in which the Oundle based yard was headed by five different CEOs.

It’s not yet clear what the future holds for Fairline under Wessex Bristol but the recent launch of a new Targa 53 at the Southampton Boat Show provides a much needed new model in the range and a promising foundation on which to build.

Speaking to Motor Boat & Yachting, Fairline’s sales director Douglas Culverwell confirmed that Wessex Bristol “has a long term strategy for the business” and reassured readers that it wouldn’t have entered into the deal “without understanding the level of investment required.”

We hope to arrange a more in depth interview with Ayiaz as soon as the opportunity arises.


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