Early in April, Grand Banks Yachts Ltd. Announced that the company would make their first acquisition with the purchase of Australian boatbuilder Palm Beach Motor Yacht Co. for a total of $10 million Australia (about $9.4 million U.S. dollars. Once the purchase is complete, Mark Richards, founder and CEO of Palm Beach Yachts, and internationally renowned yachtsman, will be appointed CEO of the new enlarged group. While the deal will expand the Grand Banks umbrella, both Grand Banks Yachts and Palm Beach Yachts will continue to be built in their current facilities, located in Malaysia and Australia.
“With Mark as incoming CEO, this critical leadership role will be filled by a qualified boatbuilder with a deep passion and experience for yachting, combined with a proven track record of technological innovation and success in building and marketing boats internationally,” said Grand Banks chairman Heine Askaer-Jensen. “It is a rare combination and a remarkable fit, coming at a critical juncture of Grand Banks’ own transformation.”
Palm Beach, builders of customizable Down East style yachts ranging from 45 to 65 feet, was founded in 1995 by Richards, a seven-time champion of the grueling Sydney-Hobart Race and a two time America’s Cup competitor.
“This transaction is a major personal decision which is driven by my firm belief that the expanded investment and development of both Palm Beach and Grand Banks, together with the skills and collective will of the two brands, will combine to make the enlarged group one of the world’s leading luxury boatbuilding companies,” Richards said. “I have deep respect for the Grand Banks brand, and it will be a great honor for me to further strengthen the brand and to lead it to continued success.”
We’re excited for the merger, and are looking forward to seeing what Richards can do at the helm of such a great group of boatbuilders.