Oyster group has a new owner

 The UK’s Oyster Marine has been bought by HTP Investments, a Dutch investment firm owned by entrepreneurs Wim de Pundert and Klaas Meertens. “As investors, we are delighted to have the opportunity to add such a strong and prestigious British brand to our select portfolio of companies and have every confidence in Oyster’s CEO, David Tydeman and the existing management team to take the business forward,” says Meertens. “For myself and Wim, this is a personal acquisition and a long term investment. “We look forward to working with David and the team to develop Oyster’s strategy for the future and build on the success the whole team at Oyster has achieved over the last three years.” Though HTP and Oyster declined to reveal just how much the deal was worth, it is reputed to be between £10m-£15m, substantially less than the reputed £70m Balmoral paid for Oyster four years ago.

HTP acquired Oyster using exclusive funds of the partners Wim de Pundert and Klaas Meertens and is therefore it claims, not subject to any restrictions with respect to the amount invested and the period over which the investment is held.

According to HTP, it expands the activities of its portfolio companies both through organic growth and further acquisitions, supporting the management in strategic decision making and any required reorganisation of the firm’s financial structure. However, as yet HTP Investments has not disclosed details of the new financial structure for Oyster.

Oyster, whose range currently comprises 12 models from 14m-38m (46ft-125ft), has been enjoying a relatively busy two years — in January it closed two new contracts for an Oyster 625-11 and an Oyster 54-21, bringing the total value of its order book for contracts signed in the last 24 months to nearly £80m, plus £25m of superyacht contracts.

However, since its acquisition by Balmoral Capital at the height of the boom in late 2007, the firm had been saddled with the debts of its parent company Ocean Wave Finance (incorporated on 14 Dec 2007) which had long term debt of £40.7m at the end of December 2009 plus current loans of £2.5m.

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