BY Ryan Swift on 13 Feb 2023

The UK's Princess Yachts may be sold to private equity firm KPS Capital Partners

UK yacht builder Princess Yachts, one of the world’s biggest yachting names, is being sold to US private equity firm KPS Capital Partners, according to trade media reports. KPS aims to make controlling investments in manufacturing and industrial companies across a range of products, including luxury goods and in the automotive sector. The company makes investments of between US$100 million and US$1 billion, according to its latest information. 

Princess’ new S72, featuring styling by Pininfarina

In recent years, Princess Yachts has embarked a huge revamp of its model lines, turning to Italian design house Pininfarina to create a sleeker look and debuting its X-series of yachts designed to create huge onboard space. 

In September 2022, the company said it had plans to release many more new models over a three-year period. Plymouth Live also reported that Princess’ order books were full until 2024

Read: Asia-Pacific Boating’s interview with Princess Yachts’ Chairman Antony Sheriff

Princess Yachts is well represented in Asia. Princess has an office and service center covering Greater China. In Southeast Asia, Princess has had a partnership with Boat Lagoon out of Thailand since 1995. 

In 2008, Princess Yachts was acquired by L Capital 2 FCPR, an investment group co-sponsored by LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and Groupe Arnault. In January 2016, L Capital merged with Catterton to become L Catterton, now recognised as the largest global consumer-focused investment firm.

In 2022, Plymouth Live reported that L Catterton was exploring a potential sale of Princess Yachts

Princess Yachts is privately held and according to public data, enjoyed a turnover of £300 million in 2021, the latest information available. Princess Yachts was founded in Plymouth in 1965 and has since become the UK’s largest production motor yacht builder. At the recent Boot Dusseldorf, Princess Yachts premiered the S72, along with six other yachts.