Iconic boatbuilder acquired by Eastern European investment firm
Robertson and Caine acquired by Vox Ventures
SOUTH AFRICA: In what may well be one of the most significant maritime foreign investment transactions for the year, iconic catamaran builder, Robertson and Caine, is to be acquired by Vox Ventures a wholly owned subsidiary of PPF, a leading investment firm in Europe with its roots in the Czech Republic.
The sale, which is expected to during this quarter, is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions including requisite regulatory approvals.
The yard is currently owned by founder and significant shareholder John Robertson together with the current private equity shareholders, Capitalworks.
PPF is active across a wide range of sectors with investments spanning financial services, telecommunications, media, biotechnology, real estate, mobility and e-commerce, across Europe, Asia and North America.
Acknowledging the “bittersweet” nature of this major milestone, Robertson and Caine Co-founder, John Robertson admitted that finding like-minded shareholders had been critical to the deal.
“After more than 40 years in the boat business and 32 years with Robertson and Caine, I am pleased to leave Robertson and Caine, our valued One R&C team members and our longstanding customer Travelopia in the hands of new shareholders of such stature. Finding like-minded shareholders who are committed to and focused on continuing to build Robertson and Caine and the Leopard brand as a key part of its growing marine industry presence globally, was of critical importance to me. Although it is a bittersweet moment, I feel confident that the legacy will continue to grow from strength to strength and that the business will be in the best hands,” he said.
Current Managing Director of the boatyard, Theo Loock noted that the management team is excited to work with the new shareholder and thanked John Robertson and his family for the “opportunity to be part of such an exciting business and for the honour of being associated with the Leopard brand all over the world.”
Didier Stoessel, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of PPF Group commented: “PPF is pleased to have agreed this transaction with Robertson and Caine’s founder and shareholders, who have achieved much success in building the Leopard brand. The quality of workmanship, skills and expertise of South African boatbuilders has attracted our investment. We are looking forward to working with the company’s exceptional management team and employees to smoothly transition ownership and further build on the excellence the company has delivered over its more than 30-year history.”