Compagnie du Ponant Acquired by Bridgepoint
Bridgepoint completes acquisition of Compagnie du Ponant
The luxury cruise line Compagnie du Ponant, which operates three ships, has been acquired by the private equity company, Bridgepoint.
Bridgepoint today confirmed the completion of its acquisition of Compagnie du Ponant , the French luxury cruise line renowned for its specialist polar cruises, from CMA CGM via its parent company Mérit. The terms of the transaction are undisclosed.
Founded in 1988 and with more than 580 employees, Compagnie du Ponant (‘CDP’) operates three luxury yachts (typically with between 32 and 132 cabins) and in 2011 carried 20,000 passengers and had revenues of €80 million.
Working with its established team and taking advantage of its successful strong niche positioning, Bridgepoint will provide the company with the resources to fulfil its growth ambitions and to expand internationally. A fourth vessel is scheduled for delivery in June 2013. The management, led by the co-founder Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and Véronique Saadé, will play an active part in this new stage of its development investing in the future of the company and contributing to the sustainability of the original concept.
The company enjoys global market leadership by volume in the polar cruise segment thanks to the specialist nature of its vessels. It is also the clear leader in the French-speaking European market (France, Belgium and Switzerland).
The luxury cruise market of the type served by CDP is a growing and resilient niche with global demand supported by an affluent customer base in Europe and the US that has been less sensitive to the macroeconomic environment. The polar cruise market in particular enjoys significant demand, yet capacity is limited due to the specialist nature of ships able to operate there.
About Compagnie du Ponant
Founded in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant is a cruise line operating three luxury ships under the French flag. The only French shipowner of cruise vessels, the company operates in the high end segment of the industry. Its yachts (32 to 132 cabins) sail the world’s oceans and more particularly in the Arctic and the Antarctic, giving the Compagnie du Ponant prominence as the “specialist of the Poles” via its cruises known as “5 star expeditions”.
Bridgepoint is a European private equity firm focussing on the acquisition of companies valued up to €1 billion. With some €11 billion of capital raised to date, it typically focuses on acquiring well managed companies in attractive sectors with the potential to grow organically or through acquisition. Although a generalist investor, Bridgepoint has developed expertise in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, media, and industrial sectors. It has offices throughout in Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm and portfolio development office in Shanghai.