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Sunseeker International
IndustryLuxury motor yachts
Key people
Christian Marti (CEO), Michael Straughan (COO), Robert Braithwaite (Founder)
Revenue£320 million (2013)
OwnerDalian Wanda Group
Number of employees
Approximately 2,500 (2018)
The Sunseeker factory on the Poole waterfront. The company makes luxury motoryachts, two of which are seen outside. Predator 95/100 is on the left.
The Sunseeker Fire Assembly Point.

Sunseeker International is a British luxury motor yacht manufacturer. Its headquarters and main assembly facility is in Poole Harbour, at Poole in Dorset, England. The company has been making motor boats since 1969.[1] Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has owned the company since 2013.[2] It is the largest UK-based luxury yachtmaker measured by 2012 revenues.[3]


Manufacturing is undertaken mainly in Poole, in seven production plants and shipyards. An additional deep-water shipyard is used to build the 105 yacht and larger vessels. In March 2007, the company announced a 500 job expansion program, with a new site on the Isle of Portland,[4] A new factory is being developed at New Quay Road, Poole.

In October 2002, Robert Braithwaite, the founder of Sunseeker International, was named Ernst & Young's UK Entrepreneur of the Year.[5]

In 2006 Robert Braithwaite led a £44 million MBO of the company, backed by Bank of Scotland.[6]

The company features in the 2008 Sunday Times list Profit Track 100 of the most profitable non-listed companies and in the Top Track 250 list of mid-sized non-listed companies.[6]

In 2010, Irish private equity firm FL Partners took over ownership of Sunseeker through a debt restructuring deal after Sunseeker posted losses the previous year.[7][8]

On 19 June 2013 it was announced that the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group had agreed to buy a 91.8% stake in Sunseeker for £320M. As reported, it has been promised that the day-to-day running of Sunseeker in Poole will be unaffected, with its 2,500-strong workforce keeping their jobs. The deal is set to be sealed by mid-August.[9]

In January 2015, Phil Popham was appointed as the company's new Chief Executive Officer.[10]

Appearance in popular culture[edit]

Sunseeker boats have featured in the James Bond film series since The World Is Not Enough (1999), chasing up the Thames in the pre-credits sequence, and continued through Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008). This latest outing showed Sunseeker's new 37m Yacht and the Superhawk 43; it also featured a cameo role for Sunseeker's then managing director, Robert Braithwaite, in one of Sunseeker's very first open-cockpit speedboats, the Sovereign 17.[11]

A BBC Two documentary about the brand, Britain's Biggest Superyachts: Chasing Perfection,[12] shows the building of the Sunseeker 131 yacht.

In the feature film Logan, James (Wolverine) is shown trying to secure money to buy a Sunseeker and live with Charles Xavier and Caliban on the ocean.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sunseeker through the ages". Motor Boat & Yachting. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  2. ^ "Sunseeker Confirms Acquisition by Dalian Wanda". (Press release). August 27, 2013. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Rapoza, Kenneth (19 June 2013). "Chinese Billionaire Buys 'James Bond' U.K. Yacht Maker". Forbes. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Luxury yacht maker's 500 new jobs". BBC News. 14 March 2007.
  5. ^ Clark, Emma (8 October 2002). "Sunseeker scoops entrepreneur award". BBC News.
  6. ^ a b "Top Track 250 list". Sunday Times. October 2008. Entry 88.
  7. ^ John, Timothy (June 3, 2010). "Irish Investor Takes Major Stake in Sunseeker International". Daily Echo. Gannett. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sunseeker to close New Forest boat yard". Daily Echo. Gannett. June 21, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Chinese firm to buy British yacht maker Sunseeker". The Guardian. Reuters. June 19, 2013. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Jefferies, Chris (November 28, 2014). "Sunseeker names former Land Rover boss as new CEO". Motorboat & Yachting. Retrieved July 6, 2018 – via
  11. ^ Zydel, Devin (May 24, 2006). "Sunseeker Appearance Confirmed for Casino Royale". Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "Britain's Biggest Superyachts: Chasing Perfection". BBC. Retrieved 2016-07-02.

External links[edit]