Clearwater, Florida-based recreational boat and yacht retailer MarineMax has announced an agreement with Italian-based yacht builder Azimut/Benetti Group to acquire yacht brokerage house Fraser, according to statements from the companies.
The deal with Azimut/Benetti Group includes a multiyear agreement that gives MarineMax exclusive dealership rights to sell Benetti yachts in North America.
“The acquisition of Fraser is significant for MarineMax as it dramatically increases our presence and strength in the strategically important superyacht category,” stated Brett McGill, CEO and president of MarineMax. “We are also very excited to add the Benetti Class of yachts to our luxury motoryacht offering.”
Monaco-based Fraser offers yacht brokerage, yacht charter, yacht management, crew placement and new build services through 20 offices in 18 countries around the world. According to MarineMax, the more than 160 Fraser team members will remain in place and continue to manage the company’s operations. Current Fraser directors Paolo Vitelli and Roberto Giorgio will also remain in an advisory capacity.
Vitelli, who is also CEO and chairman of Azimut/Benetti Group, founded Azimut in 1969 and acquired Benetti in 1985. MarineMax has represented the Azimut brand in the United States since 2006.
“MarineMax has been a valued partner of the group,” Vitelli stated. “MarineMax’s unrivaled success through many years makes it the best possible owner of Fraser for the future.”
Fraser was founded in Newport Beach, California, in 1947 by David L. Fraser, with initial offices in Newport, San Diego, Seattle and Fort Lauderdale. Although it is now a global company, American yacht owners and charterers account for more than 50% of its business, according to Fraser CEO Raphael Sauleau.
“Our alliance with MarineMax enables us to further grow our footprint across North America,” Sauleau stated. “It also allows us to share with MarineMax clients an extended and in-depth range of 24m+ (79-foot+) large yacht services, support and guidance.”