In mid-May, IYC brokers and agents sent a letter to clients describing the deal and anticipated changes. According to the letter, existing charter, sales and management contracts would “remain in full force and terms unaffected” and that “your core team will remain unchanged.” The letter also said that Cape4 services currently available in Europe, including shore support (yacht agency services), insurance, claims management and travel agency services, will soon be available in the United States.
IYC and Cape4 brands will run independently during the summer season, and will be integrated as of September under a “new visual corporate identity,” according to the letter.
According to several employees, the brokers, including Frank Grzeszczak and Mark Elliott, will remain with the company. IYC President Bob Saxon would not comment on his plans until Cape4 makes an official announcement. Several brokers said they were looking forward to the changes.
“It was stagnant before, but this is a huge leap forward,” Elliott said. “This is fresh blood. Cape4 is very enthusiastic and we plan to be No. 1. I’m definitely on the wagon with this. And we’ll be looking to hire new brokers with this expansion. We’ll need charter brokers, management and sales.”
One thing it likely won’t need is marketing staff. The department was cut as Cape4 expects to subcontract that work, according to an employee who asked not to be named.
“I would think that downsizing is always part of the plan, in a case like this,” said Catalina Bujor, who worked in the marketing department until her final day with IYC on May 15.
Bujor said it made sense for Cape4 to buy IYC instead of starting its own company in the U.S.
“They have bought a business with some of the most successful yacht brokers,” Bujor said.
“They are a smart company and have been doing their due diligence since the Miami show. Overall, my opinion is that the IYC brand will thrive under its new ownership. It will get a long-awaited facelift with a fresh approach in the U.S. market.”
Cape4 Yachting partner Stefanos Macrymichalos would not comment other than to say a press release detailing the merger would be issued in late May.
Founded in 2005, Cape4 has six offices in the Mediterranean including Croatia, Montenegro, Malta and Greece. It offers sales, charter, management and agency services as well as yacht insurance, according to its Web site.
Founded in 1997, IYC has offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Newport, Nassau, St. Maarten and Monaco. IYC offers yacht sales, charter, management and crew placement. Trinity Yachts bought it from Steve Hudson in June 2007.